Field Test

By: Joe C. (
Pocket Nugget Adventure for Traveller TNE

Gralyn, 1197


Players are Gralyn Union Naval personel. Gralyn Naval personel have retrieved an Imperial Patrol Cruiser, and have just retrofitted it with a repaired Jump-1 drive with the help of Droyne engineers from Askopay. The repairs having been made, the ship is now ready for it's field test - and the players are the personel selected to take out the newly renamed "Rambler" scout ship on it's first voyage in 70 years. The players are to pilot the Patrol Cruiser through a micro-jump. The crew is readied and kept to a minimum.

Aboard the Rambler, all is quiet and prep for jump is go without a warning light. The Rambler has been moved to a point 100 diameters from the Star in Gralyn's system. As the ship's capacitors maximize for jump, a yellow light blossoms in the bridge, seconds later turning to red for the split second before the jump drives activate. As the captain's hand slams down on the Abort button, the ship jumps, and something explodes in the manuever drive room...

A small bomb kills a droyne engineer and irrepairably damages the Helpar manuever drives, and temporarily damaging the power plant. --- OR --- A tiny flaw in one of the plasma regulators in the Maneuver drive systems incurs a catastrophic failure. High energy plasma floods into the drive room, instantly killing the Droyne engineer,irrepairably damaging the Heplar drives, and temporarily damaging the power plant.

The hull isn't breached, but the engine room is a twisted mess of metal and plastics. Nausea and headaches spin through the crew members over the next 5 days as the Rambler floats in jump-space. On the fifth day, the gray undulating field of jumpspace flares blue and fades into stars.

Sensor readings from passive sensors determine the main star to be a class F5, Size V: the system is defined: Botany Bay. The Rambler has no manuever drive, and the ship is heading with residual velocity towards the planet. Although there is merchant traffic with Botany Bay, no other ships are spotted in system. The combination of residual velocity and gravity pulls the Rambler down into the atmosphere of Botany Bay...


The power plant is damaged, but not irrepairably. Emergency batteries are powering life support and passive sensors, but won't last forever. In addition, the current velocity leaves a little over 8 hours until the Rambler intersects with Botany Bay's atmosphere. To get the power plant back on line: (Difficult: Ship's Engineering, 2d6-1 x 30 minutes). A failure simply results in time loss but no damage, a catastrophic failure results in permanent damage to the power plant, making it irrepairable without replacement parts.

Since the ship is moving at a high velocity (2G), it will need to slow considerably before attempting to make any sort of landing on the surface. In addition, it's airfoil isn't completely functional without power to extend it for use within atmospheres. With the manuever drives destroyed, the maneuver will be risky. If the power plant is not back on line, increase the difficulty by one level.

To pilot into Botany Bay's atmosphere: (Routine: Pilot Interface/Grav, Astrogation) A failure results in 2 minor hits to the surface of the ship and a short skip back into space (2d20 minutes to re-entry). A catastrophic failure results in 4 minor hits to the surface of the ship and the ship skips on the surface of the atmosphere and jumps into an eliptical orbit. Every minor skip reduces the difficulty to re-enter the atmosphere of Botany Bay by 1.

If the ship skipped into an elliptical orbit, it will be able to enter Botany Bay's atmosphere again in 24+2d20 hours. An outstanding success on piloting into the atmosphere lowers the difficulty of the next task by 1 level.

To slow down once in the atmosphere: (Difficult: Pilot Interface/Grav, 30 minutes) Failure results in 4 minor hits to the surface of the ship. Catastrophic failure results in 2 major hits to the surface of the ship as the airfoil is stressed beyond tolerance.

Once the ship has slowed some in the atmosphere, a landing can be attempted. Depending on previous circumstances, the ship may be doing it blind. If the ship lost it's sensor antennas in the atmosphere, increase the difficulty 1 level. If the ship doesn't have contra-grav, increase the difficulty one level.

(Difficult: Pilot Interface/Grav, 30 minutes) An outstanding success on landing indicates no damage to the outside the of ship. A success on landing indicates 1 minor hit to the surface of the ship, and failure results in 3 minor hits to the surface of the ship. A catastrophic failure results in 3 major hits to the ship. Any crew members not strapped down for landing will incur 2d6 damage from the blunt trauma of being tossed about the cabins.

The Trek

PCs are downed some 250km from the nearest inhabitation. The vehicle that was set with the Rambler in case of an emergency has been destroyed by the rough landing.

Field Test Map

Botany Bay descriptions:
At 0.5 Atmospheres and 0.76 G's, the landscape of Botany Bay seems strangely distorted vertically. Vegetation tends to be thinner stalks and have more surface area in their leaves. Free standing water is relatively rare, and is most often in the form of snow at high altitudes. The temperature tends to be cold, with an average running about 3.5 degrees centrigrade. The silicon dioxide taint in the atmosphere isn't immediately fatal and is untraceable by smell or taste. It binds with hemoglobins in the blood, much like carbon monoxide, causing the victim to slowly suffocate to death.

Ship's Locker:
For every PC


Botany Bay


Hard Work (marching for movement - 20km in 4 hours)
+1 fatigue level
Easy Work (foraging, etc)
+/- 0 fatigue levels
-1 fatigue level
-1 fatigue level, must have at least 1 sleep period every 24 hours or
2 sleep periods after performing 3+ hard work (or else the player
suffers more fatigue points)

Since Botany Bay is a thin atmosphere, Hard Work has a +2 fatigue, Easy Work has a +1 fatigue, and Rest has a +/- 0 fatigue. At higher altitudes, a respirator is required, and fatigue levels are normal while wearing one at any altitude.

Botany Bay has 30 hours days.
Encounters: 1 per 4 hours moving, 1 per day stationary


Alpine (d20)

1-3:   herbivore: 6 grazers (wgt:100kg, 15,21,9,7,16,12 hits) 
       hooves:Dam:1-Nil (armed melee attack), Init:0, Asset:3, Armor:1, 
       Flee:11, Attack:7, Speed:20
4-5:   herbivore: 1 intermittent (wgt:3kg, 1hit) 
       Quills:Dam:0.5-Nil (armed melee attack), Init:0, Asset:4, 
       Flee:13, Attack:4, Speed:37
6-9:   Seismic Quake: To avoid falling and taking d6 points damage:
       (Difficult: Strength or Agility)
10-12: omnivore: 1 hunter (wgt:25kg, 7hits) 
       Tail:Dam:1-Nil (armed melee attack), Init:4, Asset:6, Armor:1, 
       Flee:4, Attack:13, Speed:20
13-15: carnivore: chaser (9) (wgt:50kg, 13,7,12,10,19,3,4,1,19 hits) 
       Coils:Dam:1(poison2byclaws)-Nil (strangle attack), Init:3, Asset:9, 
       Flee:6, Attack:Am (if more), Speed:34
16:    Avalanche: 6- on d20 produces a rumbling avalanche. To avoid d20
       points of damage: (formidable, Strength or Agility)
17-19: scavenger: reducer (5) (wgt:1kg, 1hit each) 
       claws&teeth:Dam:1-Nil (armed melee attack), Init:1, Asset:9, Armor:1, 
       Flee:3, Attack:3, Speed:14
20:    Cold Snap: the temperature drops dramatically, and PC's must find
       shelter of begin taking 1 point of damage to all locations every hour.

Rough (d20)

1-2:   herbivore: grazer (7) (wgt:50kg, 20,18,10,9,11,20,10 hits) 
       horn&hooves:Dam:2-Nil (armed melee attack), Init:0, Asset:12,
       Flee:15, Attack:6, Speed:42
3-4:   herbivore: grazer (4) (wgt:1600kg, 61,55,75,49 hits)
       trample:Dam:7-Nil (diving blow), Init:2, Asset:8, Armor:3,
       Flee:12, Attack:5, Speed:35
5:     herbivore: grazer (14) (wgt:12kg, 4,3,5,1,6,2,4,4,2,3,1,3,6,1 hits)
       projectile:Dam:3-Nil (Thrown weapon attack), Init:2, Asset:6, Range:8,
       Flee:11, Attack:5, Speed:26 
6-7:   Crevasse: a very deep, steep ravine blocks the path forward. PCs will
       have to travel 1d10km to find a path around.
8:     omnivore: hunter (2) (wgt:400kg, 42,59 hits)
       coils:Dam:2-Nil (strangle attack), Init:3, Asset:5, Armor:1,
       Flee:7, Attack:9, Speed:19
9-10:  herbivore: filterer (wgt:12kg, 3 hits)
       hooves:Dam:1-Nil (armed melee attack), Init:0, Asset:4,
       Flee:6, Attack:Ap (if possible), Speed:20
11-12: scavenger: hijacker (wgt:25kg, 5 hits)
       teeth:Dam:1-Nil (armed melee attack), Init:5, Asset:8,
       Flee:11, Attack:11, Speed:43
13-14: carnivore: pouncer (wgt:25kg, 5 hits)
       teeth:Dam:2-Nil (armed melee attack), Init:6, Asset:10,
       Flee:As (if surprised), Attack: As (if surprised), Speed:40
15:    Seismic Quake: To avoid falling and taking d6 points damage:
       (Difficult: Strength or Agility)
16-17: carnivore: siren (wgt:12kg, 1 hit)
       tail:Dam:1-Nil (armed melee attack), Init:7, Asset:8,
       Flee:4, Attack:As (if surprised), Speed:1
18-19: omnivore: gatherer (wgt:6kg, 1 hit)
       tail:Dam:1-Nil (armed melee attack), Init:4, Asset:11,
       Flee:8, Attack:8, Speed: 4
20:    scavenger: hijacker (wgt:200kg, 44 hits)
       claws:Dam:6-1 (armed melee attack), Init:2, Asset:6,
       Flee:6, Attack:12, Speed:45

Forest (d20)

1-4:   herbivore: intermittent (wgt:25kg, 3 hits)
       horn:Dam:2-1 (armed melee attack), Init:0, Asset:1
       Flee:9, Attack:9, Speed:26
5-8:   herbivore: filterer (wgt:25kg, 7,7 hits)
       projectile:Dam:0-Nil (Thrown weapon attack), Init:2, Asset:8, Range:18
       Flee:5, Attack:Ap (If possible), Speed:6
9-11:  omnivore: gatherer (wgt:6kg, 3 hits)
       claws&teeth:Dam:1-Nil (armed melee attack), Init:4, Asset:10
       Flee:5, Attack:11, Speed:8
12-13: Radiation: an 1km circle in the forest is devoid of life. If PCs spend
       more then 10 minutes in the area, apply radiation damage.
14-16: carnivore: pouncer (wgt:12kg, 5 hits)
       coils:Dam:1-Nil (strange attack), Init:8, Asset:17
       Flee:Ap (if surprised), Attack:Ap (if surprised), Speed:37
17-20: scavenger: hijacker (wgt: 200kg, 43,33,43 hits)
       teeth:Dam:7-1 (armed melee attack), Init:1, Asset:8, Armor:1
       Flee:10, Attack:13, Speed:30

Prairie (d20)

1-4:   herbivore: grazer (wgt:200kg, 26,31,19,43,27 hits)
       hooves&teeth:Dam:4-1 (armed melee attack), Init:2, Asset:7
       Flee:8, Attack:4, Speed:35
5-8:   herbivore: grazer (wgt:1600kg, 82,68,43,73,64,79,69,49,61 hits)
       tail:Dam:12-2 (armed melee attack), Init:0, Asset:7, Armor:1
       Flee:18, Attack:9, Speed:50
9-12:  omnivore: gatherer (wgt:12kg, 5 hits)
       claws&teeth:Dam:2-1 (armed melee attack), Init:8, Asset:8
       Flee:10, Attack:12, Speed:17
13-16: carnivore: chaser (wgt:400kg, 62,23,52,41,54,50,40,53,52 hits)
       claws:Dam:7-1 (armed melee attack), Init:2, Asset:14, Range:Long
       Flee:4, Attack:Am (if more), Speed:37
17-20: scavenger: intimidator (wgt:3200kg, 55,84,75,57,85 hits)
       poison:teethP3:Dam9-Nil (armed melee attack), Init:2, Asset:12, Armor:2
       Flee:3, Attack:11, Speed:40


Players finally enter an inhabited area. The local's are tall and thin, having almost absurdly large chests stacked on thin legs. Their faces are flattened, with only small slits for a nose and clear membranes over their eyes.

Within a few moments, however, the PCs will be greeted by the local authorities. They quickly arrange to transport, by vehicle, the PCs to the starport, some 600km farther eastward, where they will wait for a trader making a routine landing.