Adv: Twilight Shadows

Twilight Shadows on the Bright Face
Copyright 1996 Paul Dale

  • Legal Disclaimer

    Player Information
  • Introduction
  • The Star System
  • The World
  • World Map
  • Characters
  • Equipment

    Referee Information
  • Interesting Sites
  • Character Backgrounds
  • ATV Details
  • Encounters
  • GM Notes

    Legal Disclaimer

       Some information utilized in the writing of this module was
       extracted from the Traveller Double Adventure: Across the
       Bright Face/Mission on Mithril. This booklet was originally
       copyrighted by GDW and is now owned by Marc Miller of Imperium
       Games and Far Future Enterprises. It would help you to have
       access this booklet in order to use this adventure properly.
       The author makes no claim on anyone else's intellectual property.
       Hence, such use of previously published material should not be
       construed as a challege to the ownership of that material. This
       adventure is not authorized or endorsed by anyone, and nobody can
       be held liable for any damages resulting from its use.
       The rest of the adventure was written by Paul Dale as the Traveller
       adventure at Minicon-1, Easter 1996. Feedback and comments are
       welcome. Please send email to
         * ATV Double Adv 2
         * Class 3 Survey World Builders
         * GSbAG Model 317 Pressurised Shelter JTAS 6, BJTAS 2
         * Zuchai Crystals Starship Operator's Manual


       You were performing a routine class III survey of the world 871-438
       (0710-E700000-0) in the Jewel subsector of the Spinward Marches. The
       world was thought to be a worthless hunk of rock and your survey seems
       to justify this belief. After eight weeks of intensive and very dull
       surveying of the world, you have produced a reasonable quality
       topographic map of the entire surface. Three locations generated
       anomalous sensor readings when scanned. However, due to a shortage of
       time Travil, the mission commander, decided to not investigate these
       aberrations. His recommendation is for a fully equipped survey team to
       be dispatched to perform a highly detailed investigation. Given the
       exciting quality of this world, such an investigation is unlikely to
       be undertaken for a very long time.
       The survey completed, your Serpent class Scout, The Blackened Asp,
       makes it way out to the hundred diameter limit in preparation for the
       jump back to the main stream of society.
       Reaching the jump point, you energise your jump drive and in a rather
       impressive display of pyrotechnics, nothing happens. No stomach
       tearing wrench as you leave normality for the soul rending emptiness
       of jump space.
       Actually quite a lot happened. The Asp's jump drive overloads and
       heaps of circuits fuse into a large molten pile. Your power plant
       decides that continued operation is not a good idea and it too shuts
       down generating a prodigious quantity of ozone and even more molten
       As the life support systems switch over to emergency battery backup,
       you hurriedly get suited up and watch as the barren lifeless hunk of
       rock below slowly but steadily approaches. The Asp's manoeuvre drives
       are still barely operable and the emergency battery reserves just
       might have juice to hard land the ship onto the rock.
       In a virtuoso display of piloting, Sherina, coerces the crippled Asp
       down onto the world's surface without causing much further damage to
       the already crippled systems. The down side to this fortuitous
       piloting display is the almost total flattening of the emergency
       reserve battery supply.
       A couple of days later Bob has fully accessed the system damage. Full
       repairs will take three to four weeks.
       Rather than get in Bob's way, Travil (the fearless) decides that a
       complete ground based survey of the triad of suspicious sites would be
       a splendid moral booster.

    The Star System

      The Star System
       The system containing 871-438 consists of a remarkably stable main
       sequence G1 star, the barren dust ball is in the third orbit. There
       are two asteroid belts in orbits four and six. In addition, there is a
       pair of gas giants: a small one in the seventh orbit and a large one
       in the ninth. The system's Oort cloud contains the usual hundred
       billion or so comets.
       The two asteroid belts mostly consist of small bodies up to a maximum
       diameter of ten meters (roughly fifty displacement tons). Over eighty
       percent of these bodies are carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. The
       remainder are formed from various different ice compounds. Neither
       belt contains sufficient mineral resources to be of interest to
       belters. The inner belt has a diameter of about 0.1 AU and the outer
       about 1.5 AU.
       The small inner gas giant is a dull bluish-green disc composed of
       eighty percent hydrogen and fifteen percent helium. The remaining five
       percent of the giant is composed of the usual heavier gasses: ammonia,
       argon, carbon dioxide, chlorine, fluorine, methane, neon, nitrogen.
       Also detectable in trace concentrations are a multitude of other
       compounds created from these basic gasses as well as some other
       heavier elements, notably sulphur. This planet has three rocky moons
       and two icy moons orbiting, none of which showed any signs deserving
       of further investigation.
       The large outer gas giant is your standard whitish-orange giant
       composed primarily of hydrogen. Detectable quantities of ammonia,
       fluorine, helium and nitrogen exist. Notably absent is the presence of
       carbon based gases and compounds. This gas giant has a system of rings
       containing large numbers of very small carbonaceous bodies. Also
       present in orbit are upwards of fifteen natural moons in a variety of

    The World

      The World
       The world 871-438 isn't the most exciting place in the universe. The
       only interesting feature of this dust ball is the list of things this
       world doesn't have:
         * No atmosphere.
         * No magnetic field.
         * No moons or other orbiting bodies.
         * Minimal hydrosphere in the form of various ices on the dark face.
         * No natural resources of any merit.
         * No tectonic activity.
         * No meteor craters.
         * No detectable life.
       In reality 871-438 does have a few redeeming features:
         * Tidally locked.
         * Extensive low level volcanic activity.
         * Lots of open flat space to land a crippled ship.
         * An aggressive carnivorous xenomorph with acidic blood.
       Three anomalous sites exhibit these aberrations:
        Site A
       The active EMS scan of this area produced a feint echo. Normally this
       would be of no concern being written off as sensor mis-alignment,
       transient electrical glitch or one of a dozen other alternatives.
       There is one hassle with writing this one off so easily, the echoes
       are identical to the original signal in every way despite the local
       geomorphology discouraging any systematic reflectivity - an unlikely
       yet theoretically possible event. There was insufficient time and
       motivation to go back and repeat the scans.
        Site B
       This site showed up as a bright spot on the ship's neutrino sensor.
       This could indicate a high energy source of some description. Then
       again it could be one of those infamous sensor glitches.
        Site C
       The densotometer reading exhibited a very high peak when scanning this
       region. This reading would usually indicate an area of increased
       density; for example heavy metals, super dense materials or especially
       dense metamorphic rock. Given the state of the rest of this dump, the
       last of these options seems likely.

    World Map


       This adventure is intended for a band of adventurers numbering at
       least three and no more than seven with five to seven being best.
    1 Travil  Commander     A95747   Age 42   6 terms   Cr 8000
      Leader-2, Admin-1, ATV-1, Computer-1, Pilot-1, Streetwise-1,
      Survival-1, Vacc Suit-1, Snub Pistol-0, Cutlass-0         Snub Pistol
    2 Sherina Pilot         878B83   Age 30   3 terms   Cr 1500
      Pilot-6, Navigation-1, Vacc Suit-1, Carbine-0, Computer-0     Carbine
    3 Bruce   Surveyor      3855CA   Age 34   4 terms   Cr 2000
      Surveying-3, ATV-1, Bribery-1, Vacc Suit-1, Computer-0
      Laser Rifle-0, Forward Observer-0                         Laser Rifle
    4 Grindle Geologist     6B3477   Age 26   2 terms   Cr 3500
      Geology-2, ATV-1, Chemistry-1, Shotgun-1, Vacc Suit-0         Shotgun
    5 Hanit   Surveyor      736555   Age 22 1 term   Cr 1000
      Surveying-2, Geology-1, Physics-1, Auto Rifle-0, Computer-0
      Vacc Suit-0                                                Auto Rifle
    6 Aryven  Planetologist 978364   Age 38   5 terms   Cr 4000
      Chemistry-2, Geology-2, Physics-2, Surveying-1, SMG-1,
      Vacc Suit-1, Engineering-0, Mechanical-0, Pilot-0                 SMG
    7 Grog    Grunt/Cook    BAA686   Age 50   8 terms   Cr 2500
      Cutlass-5, Plasma Gun-3, Gunnery-2, Laser Carbine-2,    Laser Carbine
      Rifle-2, Shotgun-2, SMG-2, Battle Dress-1, Brawling-1, Cooking--6
    8 Bob     Engineer      4959B8   Age 34   4 terms   Cr 4500
      Engineering-3, Electronic-2, Jack-of-all-trades-2, Mech-2    Tool Kit


       The characters have the listed weaponry. All projectile weapons
       include ten loaded magazines. All energy weapons include one power
       pack. Non weaponry or weaponry related items may be purchased and paid
       for before play starts.
       The ship's locker contains the following items:
         * eight Vacc Suits, each including two oxygen tanks with a capacity
           of four hours each (eight hours total) and medium range
           communication gear.
         * four Carbines, each with ten loaded magazines (100 rounds).
         * two Automatic Pistols, each with ten magazines (150 rounds).
         * four Cutlasses, each with a belt scabbard.
         * 100m synthetic rope, 1mm thick (holds 1 ton)
         * three survival knives
         * four hand held flash lights (rechargable)
         * eighty vacc suit patches
         * ten doses medical fast drug (and antidote)
       The ship mounts a dorsal double pulse laser turret on its spine.
       The ship's air raft has been replaced by an ATV. The ATV is fitted
       with an externally mounted long range fuel bladder and it also mounts
       a solar panel based power backup. The ATV is capable of unlimited
       endurance provided a light source is maintained. The ATV's life
       support system is capable of continuous operation for a minimum of
       least six weeks. The ATV mounts a single pulse laser turret, power for
       the turret can only be provided by the on board fusion power plant.
       The Asp's GSbAG Model 317 Pressurised Shelter has already been gutted
       by Bob to provide limited life support to the engineering sections of
       the Asp while he makes the necessary emergency repairs to the power
       plant and jump drive.

    ATV Details

      ATV Details
       The ATV with extended range fuel bladder has a total of 600 energy
       points, these are augmented by the on board solar cells. The ATV
       energy consumption per hour is:
    Terrain    Movement    Life Support    Total
    Plain         1            1            2
    Rough         1            1            2
    Mountain      2            1            3
       Then there is an additional life support cost based upon the
       temperature zone. Also based upon the zone, is the amount of energy
       the solar panels are capable of providing. Again these values are per
       hour and it should be remembered that the solar power generation
       cannot recharge the fuel supply, it can only be used to offset fuel
     Zone       Life Support      Solar Generation
    Burning         3                   3
    Very Hot        2                   3
    Hot             1                   3
    Twilight        -                   2
    Cold            -                   1
    Frozen          1                   -
       ATV weapons fire should be handled exactly as in Across the Bright
       Face/Mission of Mithril with the modification that the solar cells
       cannot supply any of the power for weapons fire.


       To determine if an encounter occurs, roll 9+ on 2D before the
       encounter at site C and 8+ on 2D afterwards. Also, after site C, a
       roll 6+ for an encounter while performing repairs or waiting.
       Navigation on the worlds surface is not supposed to be simple. It
       determine the group's position on the world's surface, a 6+ is
       required; DM +navigation skill. It is also possible for the group to
       become misplaced within the same terrain type (i.e. when going from a
       hex of one terrain to another hex with the same terrain). If the
       encounter roll is 11+, the group has become misdirected one hex to the
       left (1-3) or right (4-6).
       All encounter tables roll 1D.
    Transit Times:
        Mountain   20 hours / hex
        Plain       5 hours / hex
        Rough      15 hours / hex
        DMs (for all tables):
        Burning  +0    Twilight +3
        Very Hot +1    Cold     +4
        Hot      +2    Frozen   +5
    Die Result (pre)            Alternate Result
    1   Lava Pool
    2   Broken Surface
    3   Vented Gas              Pursuers (on prison plain only)
    4   Stellar Flare           Pursuers (Twilight & Hot only)
    5   Spongy Soil
    6   Dust Pool
    7   Loose Soil              Pursuers
    8   Seismic Quake
    9   Ice Sheet
    10  Crusted Lava Pool
    11  Frozen Lake
    Die Result (pre)            Alternate Result
    1   Vehicle Malfunction
    2   Stellar Flare
    3   Corrosive Gas
    4   Loose Soil              Pursuers (Twilight only)
    5   Lava Flow
    6   Crevasse
    7   Seismic Quake           Pursuers
    8   Spongy Soil
    9   Lava Tubes
    10  Frozen Lake
    11  Ice Field
    Die Result (pre)            Alternate Result
    1   Engine Overheat
    2   Volcanism
    3   Lava Flow
    4   Deep Shadow
    5   Narrow Valley
    6   Blocked Passage
    7   Avalanche
    8   Loose Soil              Pursuers
    9   Seismic Quake
    10  Crumbling Rock Shelf
    11  Frozen Corpse
        Avalanche [Mountain]
       The upper reaches of the mountain side to the group's right (1-3) or
       left (4-6) are starting to fall in an avalanche. Throw dexterity or
       intelligence (whichever is higher) for each character to react
       immediately to take a position of safety; if the throw is
       unsuccessful, throw endurance as a saving throw against 2D hits in
       Throw 3D for the extent of the avalanche; each point indicates twenty
       minutes work by one person in freeing the vehicle. If the result is
       greater than 10, also consult the vehicle malfunction table.
       Players alert for an avalanche (after the first time) may so state
       when in mountainous terrain. Speed is decreased by 50% and the group
       may make a saving throw of 6+ (DM +ATV skill of driver) to avoid the
        Blocked Passage [Mountain]
       The route being followed is totally blocked and is obviously
       impassible. The group must backtract to the previous hex and select a
       different path. They may not reenter the mountain hex from that
       previous hex.
        Broken Surface [Plain]
       The area ahead is pitted and criss crossed by a network of small
       crevasses and sink holes, from a distance the surface appears solid
       enough to support the weight of the ATV. This hex is treated as rough
       for the purpose of transit time (i.e. 15 hours). A couple of die rolls
       ought to be made for dramatic effect.
        Corrosive Gas [Rough]
       There is a dense misty gas being vented in the surrounding area, the
       gas. The gas is obvious volcanic in origin and it will solidify once
       it reaches the dark face. This gas will breach a vacc suit after a
       total of ten rounds exposure with visible signs showing up after 6
       rounds. An ATV provides significantly better protection. Roll 10+ for
       the ATV to sustain damage (consult vehicle malfunction table). Also
       roll 5+ for the windshield to become etched and slightly opaque (-1 DM
       to all ATV driving maneuvers).
        Crevasse [Rough]
       A large crevasse crosses the group's path. Determine the entry and
       exit hex sides randomly. Personnel in vacc suits can leap across the
       crevasse with a successful strength+dexterity check on 2D. The
       crevasse is relatively shallow, but its sides are sufficently steep to
       prohibit crossing by an ATV. The group, may enter the crevasse in the
       ATV, but they must then follow it into one of the adjacent hexes
       corresponding to the crevasse ends.
       If the group looks, they will find a shaky natural bridge. If the ATV
       attempts to cross, throw 10+ to succeed, DM +1 if all possible
       material is discarded (including personnel) to save weight, DM
       +driver's ATV skill, and DM +1 if crossing at high speed. Throw 8+ for
       the bridge to collapse anyway after the crossing occurs, DM -1 if the
       crossing was at high speed.
        Crumbling Rock Shelf [Mountain]
       While driving along, the rock beneath the vehicle begins to crumble.
       Throw 11+ to avoid a drop; DM +driver's ATV skill. Suddenly, it gives
       way, and the ATV drops approximately 20 meters to a shelf just below
       the lip of a large abyss extending in both directions as far as the
       eye can see (determine direction randomly). The vehicle is undamaged.
       The shelf appears natural, but is also regular and can be driven on.
       Individuals can attempt to leap back to the surface (throw
       strength+dexterity on 2D to succeed; take 2D hits if the character
       The ATV cannot cross the abyss, and must move along the shelf until
       the end of the abyss is found (next hex).
        Crusted Lava Pool [Plain]
       Whlie driving along the open plain, the rock beneath the vehicle begin
       to crumble. Throw 9+ to reverse the ATV and aviod lots of problems;
       DM +driver's ATV skill. If the throw is unsuccessful, the vehicle
       takes damage (roll on the ATV malfunction table) whilst reversing out
       of the lava pool. Players walking when this occurs must roll dexterity
       or less on 3D to avoid becoming part of the lava.
       The ATV cannot continue in this direction and must backtract to the
       previous hex before continuing in a new direction.
        Deep Shadow [Mountain]
       The area ahead lies in a shadow, forward progress could prove
       dangerous due to the very limited visibility. There are two choices
       for forward travel here: full speed ahead, roll 10+ DM +driver's ATV
       skill to avoid damage (ATV malfunction table again) or travel at half
       speed (40 hours for the hex) with no chance of damage.
        Dust Pool [Plain]
       A large smooth area lies before the group; as it is approached, it
       appears to be a pool of micro-fine dust. The choice here is to enter
       the pool and attempt to cross it or to turn aside and circumvent it.
       Going around will add d6+2 hours to the journey. Going through is safe
       but the solar cells will become covered and unable to produce power
       until cleaned for d6/2 hours. The solar cells will also not produce
       power for the duration of the crossing of the pool which is again d6/2
        Engine Overheat [Mountain]
       The ATV shudders to a halt suffereing from excessive heat in the
       engine. Minor repairs are required to rectify the fault in the engine
       cooling system. Throw 9+ every hour; DM +mechanical skill to repair
       the breakdown. Forward progress is not possible before the repair is
       finished, although the other ATV systems continue to function
        Frozen Corpse [Mountain]
       There is a glacier like ice formation here with what appears to be the
       body of an alien traveller. The body is that of a droyne inmate, 4-5
       feet tall, winged and vaguely reptilian. The body is dressed in a vacc
       suit of unknown but very high tech construction. The body is riddled
       with holes from some kind of very precise high energy weapon.
       Recovering the body is possible and it takes about an hour using the
       ATV's pulse laser (20 energy points) and a couple of days by hand. The
       body is very dead, not very decayed and blasted in unrecognisibility.
        Frozen Lake [Plain, Rough]
       Lying before the group is a solid expanse of frozen gas, which appears
       solid enough to support the ATV. As the vehicle progresses across the
       lake, throw two dice every few seconds, and count the total until it
       reaches 50. Then inform the group that they have reached the other
       side of the frozen lake barely.
       In actuality, there is no danger of the ice breaking, but the dice
       throwing should be managed to make them think so. Future encounters
       with the frozen lakes should including the possibility for the group
       to backtrack rather than risk this event.
        Ice Field [Rough]
       The area ahead is a rough area covered with jagged ice (frozen gases).
       Progress through this area will take twice as long as normal (30 hours
       / hex).
        Ice Sheet [Plain]
       The area ahead is a large, smooth expanse of sheet ice (frozen gas).
       Progress across this area will depend upon the intial experience with
       the terrain by the driver. Throw 9+ to acclimate the driver with the
       experience of maneuvering on the ice; DM +driver's ATV skill. If
       successful, progress is normal; if not, speed is 25 hours / hex.
        Lava Flow [Mountain, Rough]
       A recently exposed lava flow crosses your path here. It is possible to
       drive across this flow, however the ATV will take damage to the tracks
       and progress will be one quarter of normal until the solidified rock
       is removed from them. Jumping across the flow is quite possible in a
       vacc suit with any check being necessary.
        Lava Pool [Plain]
       There is a large expanse of lava ahead. Driving through the pool is
       futile and will result in the destruction of the ATV and all people on
       board. Circumventing the pool is possible but it will double the time
       required to cross the hex (10 hours) and an additional event check
       should be made for pursuers (other results are ignored).
        Lava Tubes [Rough]
       The surface ahead is a warren of hundreds of small holes. These holes
       are the remains of lava flows and they make progress difficult on foot
       or by ATV. Roll 4+ to avoid trouble on foot; DM +survival skill. Roll
       8+ to avoid damaging the ATV; DM +driver's ATV skill.
        Loose Soil [Mountain, Plain]
       The soil is loose and present some danger to the ATV's treads unless
       speed is reduced. Throw 5+ for a roadwheel to become damaged; DM
       +twice the number of extra hours spent in the hex crossing it.
       Repairing a roadwheel takes three hours and mechanical-1 expertise;
       failure to repair the roadwheel adds 1 hour to the time to cross each
       hex. An additional breakdown or vehicle malfunction will require total
       repair before movement can continue.
        Narrow Valley [Mountain]
       A long, narrow valley lies ahead, and appears to lead through the
       mountain range and beyond. Following the valley will lead the ATV
       through the mountain range to the next hex in 10 hours. Determine the
       begining and ending directions of the valley randomly.
        Pursurers [Mountain, Plain, Rough]
       A robotic form appears. The robot will attempt to recapture the
       psionics and failing that, destroy the entire group.
        Seismic Quake [Mountain, Plain]
       The ground begin to shake as a small seismic disturbance occurs. Each
       adventurer must throw strength or less on 2D to avoid being thrown to
       the ground and taking 1D hits (saving throw: dexterity or less on 2D).
        Spongy Soil [Plain, Rough]
       The surface ahead appears to be very soft, which may impeed progress.
       Walking speed is reduced by 25% and ATV speed is reduced to half
       normal. There is no danger of bogging the tracked ATV here.
        Stellar Flare [Plain, Rough]
       A stellar flare is occuring, expect communications to be disrupted.
       There is no effect if inside the ATV with helmets off. In vacc suits,
       communication will prove impossible unless helmets are physically
       touched together.
        Vehicle Malfunction [Rough]
       The ATV suffers some minor systems damage. The type of damage is
       determined on the malfunction table. Repairing the damage takes 2
       hours if the requisite skill is present. The ATV can continue with no
       reduction in speed without repairing the damage, however any
       additional damage to the system will totally and irrepairably destroy
       the system.
        Vented Gas [Plain]
       A small nearby crevasse is venting a dull grey gas. The gas will etch
       to opacity the faceplate of a vacc suit, and will, after 5 rounds
       breach the suit. The ATV can drive through with no noticable damage.
        Volcanism [Mountain]
       One of the mountain peaks ahead is a volcano, now in the process of
       erupting. It completely blocks forward progress, requiring the group
       to backtrack to the previous hex. Pressing forward will result will
       result in a ten hour delay before realizing the futility of

    GM Notes

      GM Notes
       These are a few random notes that help the GM make things even more
       The introduction is intentionally dull and uninteresting, the team is
       studying the planet and they are meant to produce lots of dull, dry
       Full details of the ATV and it damage tables are provided in
       Double Adventure 2: Across the Bright Face/Mission on Mithril from
        The Characters
       Make sure one of your more vocal players gets to play Hanit and one of
       the better roleplayers gets Sherina. This ensures a little bit of
       internal friction to spice things up.
        One Last Shanghai
       After the party has investigated the three sites and returned to the
       ship's landing area, a final special surprise awaits: the ship is
       gone! The engineer, Bob, finished the repairs and decided to perform
       a test lift off just to be sure things worked. Unfortunately, he
       didn't set down again in exactly the same place. He is located about
       20 km away from the initial landing site which is well over the
       horizon and naturally no radio communication will reach the ship. If
       the ATV team performs a search of the surrounding area, they should be
       allowed to locate the ship eventually. Return to site C is another
       option, which the GM should adjucate on based on the pervious actions
       of the group. Remember, however, that if Bruce is absent, entry will
       not be possible.
        The Final Surprise
       This last surprise is optional, for the sadistic or evil-minded only
       (I didn't use it). The base at site C provides planetary defences that
       will, at the GM's option, shoot down the scout ship whilst the players
       are escaping. A benevolent GM may allow Sherina a piloting roll to
       avoid this or allow the ship to land and the plart to mount another
       cross country trip to destroy the controls at the base. Just remember
       that Sherina is a very very very good pilot and she is capable of
       making most escape rolls.
       Really bright players may catch onto the defence system because there
       are no craters on the planet and two decent sized asteroid belts in
       the system. Reward them if they do so.

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