[ Freelance Traveller Home Page | Search Freelance Traveller | Site Index ]

*Freelance Traveller

The Electronic Fan-Supported Traveller® Resource

Rech

This article originally appeared as the featured article in the September/October 2018 issue.

Lanth/Spinward Marches 2212 Rech D9957AA-6 Ag 501 Im M0V

System Overview

Rech System Profile
Orbit Name UWP Notes Orbital Distance
Primary Ahrweiler M0 V  
0.5 Rech D9957AA-6 Ag 44.85 million km
1 Bauler GS0056A-5 Co 59.80 million km
1.3 Jump Point     76.37 million km
2 Sinzig   Small GG 104.7 million km

The major bodies in this system are named for municipalities in the Ahrweiler district of Germany.

The primary star Ahrweiler is a main sequence red star. Such stars do not normally form large planets in their planetary disc. The prevailing theory is that Rech is a captured body, and this accounts for a non-standard orbit.

The star of Ahrweiler is slightly more than half the diameter of Sol, but Rech is much closer to it than Terra is to Sol. On Rech, Ahrweiler appears to have a diameter of 1.8 that of The Sun, and overall appear about 7 times its size.

A typical journey out of the Rech system requires a ship to travel 31.52 million kilometres to reach safe jump distance from Ahrweiler. Typical travel times for a ship leaving the system are in the following table.

Rech System Travel Times
Origin: Rech Orbit 10 Rech Diameters Rech Orbit
Destination: 10 Rech Diameters Ahrweiler Safe Jump Ahrweiler Safe Jump
1G 2h 08m 31h 07m 31h 11m
2G 1h 31m 22h 01m 22h 03m
3G 1h 14m 17h 58m 18h 00m
4G 1h 04m 15h 34m 15h 35m
5G 58m 13h 55m 13h 56m
6G 53m 12h 43m 12h 43m

Note that the total travel time from orbit to safe jump is faster than the other times added together—they allow for acceleration and deceleration to a complete stop.

Ahrweiler (System Primary)

Ahrweiler Stellar Profile
Diameter 0.549 Sol (381,830 km)
Mass 0.489 Sol
Luminosity 0.45 Sol
Apparent Diameter 1.8 Sol
Apparent Size 7.3 Sol
Safe Jump Point 76.37 million km

Ahrweiler has a red-pink tinge to the human eye—although being the brightest object in the Rech sky looks close to white at high noon. It is a relatively cold star and so only the closest orbiting planet has a habitable temperature; Bauler is a cold ice-ball by comparison.

Rech (Mainworld)

Rech is the main world of the system—full details are provided in the following pages.

Bauler

Bauler is a penal colony of the Rech Chancellor. Traffic between the worlds is infrequent as the Rech government lacks the technology for space travel—it must charter merchant ships for needed journeys. It is otherwise an uninteresting vacuum ball of ice. Full details are provided on the following pages.

Sinzig (Gas Giant)

The sole gas giant in the system is in a colder outer orbit (for this star). Sinzig has no satellites.

Sinzig Planetary Profile
Diameter 131,200
Density 0.28 Terra
Mass 154.383 Terra
Gravity 1.469G
Orbit 2 (0.7 AU)
Orbital Period 305d 21h 39m (standard days)
Sinzig Travel Times to 100-Diameter Limit
1G 20h 07m
2G 14h 13m
3G 11h 37m
4G 10h 03m
5G 08h 59m
6G 08h 12m

System Travel Times

The following tables show travel times at various accelerations to cover distances between major system bodies. The Closest column refers to travel times when the bodies are at their closest—one planet between the star and the other planet. The Furthest column refers to travel times when the bodies are on exactly opposite sides of Ahrweiler.

Obviously some deviation is required around the central star, adding to the length of travel time. But this is balanced by a skilled navigator using the gravity of the star to considerably shorten the journey along a hyperbolic navigation path. The straight line calculations presented here give an indication of the upper limit of time that would be needed to travel from body to body.

Rech System Travel Times
  Rech—Bauler Rech—Sinzig Bauler—Sinzig
  Closest Furthest Closest Furthest Closest Furthest
1G 21h 28m 56h 49m 42h 58m 67h 56m 37h 13m 71h 15m
2G 15h 11m 40h 11m 30h 23m 48h 02m 26h 19m 50h 23m
3G 12h 24m 32h 48m 24h 48m 39h 13m 21h 29m 41h 08m
4G 10h 44m 28h 24m 21h 29m 33h 58m 18h 36m 35h 37m
5G 9h 36m 25h 24m 19h 13m 30h 23m 16h 38m 31h 51m
6G 8h 46m 23h 12m 17h 32m 27h 44m 15h 11m 29h 05m

Note that travelling to the gas giant Sinzig for wilderness refueling could add nearly 2 days to the length of the journey to the main world (taking into account that the safe jump-point for the star is considerably outside the orbit of the main world of Rech). Most commercial ships therefore proceed straight to the mainworld of Rech to refuel from the oceans.

Although the local law level is high, Rech does not have sufficient space or air technology to enforce airspace restrictions. But merchants who need to get along with local authorities for ease of trade are advised to following starport directions for authorised refuelling points, which is generally in the oceans away from the settled continent of Berg.

System Space Encounters

Roll only once on the following for each journey in-system for an encounter at the end or near the end of a journey. Consult the indicated table from the MegaTraveller Imperial Encyclopedia, p91.

Rech System Starship Encounters
2D Encounter Type
2 No encounter
3 No encounter
4 No encounter
5 No encounter
6 Merchant (see table 2)
7 Merchant (see table 2)
8 Merchant (see table 2)
9 Merchant (see table 2)
10 Civilian (see table 3)
11 Scout (see table 6)
12 Naval (see table 7)

Rech (Mainworld)

Planetary Characteristics

Rech: Size-related Data
Diameter 14,745 km  
Density 0.96 Terra 5.28 g/cm3
Mass 1.484 Terra 8.8631024 kg
Gravity 1.09G 10.87 m/s2
Orbit No. and Radius 0.5 0.3 AU (44.85106 km)
Orbital Period 85d 14h 49m
Axial (Rotation) Period 27h 26m  
Axial Tilt 26  
Orbital Eccentricity 0.00  
Seismic Stress 3  

A world the size of Rech is not usually associated with a Class M star, and occupies a very close orbit not predicted by Bode’s Law. The world therefore presents something of an astrophysics conundrum. One possible theory is that it is an object captured by the star rather than formed in its planetary disc. The local year works out to 75 local days, which are split into seasons of around 18 to 19 local days each.

The temperatures on Rech cycle through hot days at the equator (up to 51C) through to ultra freezing conditions at the poles (down to -67C during winter nights).

Rech: Atmosphere-related Details
Composition Oxygen/Nitrogen mix with Chlorine taint
Surface Pressure 1.8 Atmospheres
Orbit Factor 713.865
Energy Absorption 0.780
Greenhouse Effect 1.15
Base temperature 288K (15 C)
Orbital Eccentricity Modifier 0.00
Latitude Temperature Effects +7/-7 per hex
Axial Tilt Effects 0.00=2-
0.25=3
0.75=5
1.00=6+
Daytime Plus +15
Nighttime Minus -7
Native Life No
Terraforming Atmosphere: No
Greenhouse: No
Albedo: No

The seasons pass rapidly on Rech, taking only 18 to 19 local days each. Rapid heating and cooling of the world can result in violent storms, but the high density of the atmosphere takes more energy than on Earth for storms to be whipped up. Electrical storms and cyclones happen less often and disperse more quickly than on Earth, but are potentially more violent at their peak.

Chlorine is the gas taint in the atmosphere at about 100 ppm. Travellers to Rech commonly remark that it smells like a swimming pool only stronger. Where fog forms on Rech, it is strongly acidic and is more poisonous, a hazard to travellers in the open.

Filter masks are required to work in the atmosphere for more than short periods. Fortunately, filter masks are simple to manufacture and consist of breathing through gauze soaked in water. Pads need to be changed periodically.

The taint is enough to irritate the lungs after short exposure, and the skin after long exposure. Head to toe covering including gloves is recommended. IISS issue Tailored Vacc Suits are ideal, but not practical to issue to the entire population. In addition to filter masks, locals have adopted head-to-toe skintight under-clothing for protection when outdoors for periods longer than a couple of hours.

Rech Temperatures (C) by Season and Hex Row

Row 1 is next to the equator, Row 11 is the pole

Hex Row Base Temp Latitude Modifier Base for Latitude Axial Tilt Effects Summer Base Winter Base Summer Day Summer Night Winter Day Winter Night Spring/
Autumn Day
Spring/
Autumn Night
1 15 21 36 0 36 36 51 29 51 29 51 29
2 15 14 29 0 29 29 44 22 44 22 44 22
3 15 7 22 0.25 25.9 15.5 40.9 18.9 30.5 8.5 37 15
4 15 0 15 0.5 22.8 2 37.8 15.8 17 -5 30 8
5 15 -7 8 0.75 19.7 -11.5 34.7 12.7 3.5 -18.5 23 1
6 15 -14 1 1 16.6 -25 31.6 9.6 -10 -32 16 -6
7 15 -21 -6 1 9.6 -32 24.6 2.6 -17 -39 9 -13
8 15 -28 -13 1 2.6 -39 17.6 -4.4 -24 -46 2 -20
9 15 -35 -20 1 -4.4 -46 10.6 -11.4 -31 -53 -5 -27
10 15 -42 -27 1 -11.4 -53 3.6 -18.4 -38 -60 -12 -34
11 15 -49 -34 1 -18.4 -60 -3.4 -25.4 -45 -67 -19 -41

The following rules should be used for exposure to the atmosphere.

Rech Atmosphere Exposure Effects
Short Exposure Up to END 5 minutes No Effect
Extended Exposure END 5 minutes or longer Impose immediate 1D damage, then an additional 1D damage each subsequent END 5 minutes
Recovery 1D per hour After return to non-tainted atmosphere (generally indoors). If the character is unconscious, treat as ‘minor wound’ for treatment and recovery as per p.82 of the MegaTraveller Players’ Manual.
The character is assumed to be suffering from debilitating nausea and vomiting after a short exposure. Damage represents general debilitation from chlorine poisoning. Recovery represents body chemistry fighting back.

The stormy, dense atmosphere tainted by chlorine causes rain to have a high acid content. Rain and river water is undrinkable without de-acidification, But having said this, filtration of the water is not complex, especially for the high environmental technology present on Rech. These considerations have dictated the placement of cities for water supply. The atmosphere is effectively a highly churned disinfecting washing machine and probably prevented the evolution of native life. One historical benefit of the highly chlorinated atmosphere is the ability to quickly and economically disinfect vehicles. Starships are commonly ‘vented’ by simply opening them completely to the windy atmosphere for a couple of hours which sterilises the entire ship. Standard air conditioning filters on starships (up to about 1,000 displacement tons) will return the interior to normal atmosphere within half an hour of resealing the ship. Microbial life has been introduced on Rech in more recent times, however, and this method is no longer guaranteed to work, despite it being commonly told as “good for ships” by locals who have never set foot in a starship.

Rech: Hydrosphere-related Details
Surface Coverage 52%
Composition Water with hydrochloric acid taints
Tectonic Plates 6
Terraforming Hydrographic: No
Terrain: Yes
Land Masses Major Continents: 5
Minor Continents: 4
Major Islands: 2
Archipelagoes: 5
Notable Volcanoes 8 on two major continents, 7 on minor continents
Weather Control No
Export Production Natural Resources: Agricultural Goods, Ores
Processed Resources: Agricultural Products, Nonmetals
Manufactured Goods: None
Information: Recordings, Documents

Water from rivers and oceans is generally not drinkable. It contains substantial amounts of hydrochloric acid. On the other hand, rain water is more drinkable as the chlorine has had less chance to dissolve, but it is still unpalatable and is not recommended for drinking long term without filtration.

Life Forms of Rech

Rech has no native life. However, over the centuries since settlement significant life has been imported and genetically modified for local conditions.

Primary crops include chlorine-dependent hemp, and hemp fibre products, especially textiles, paper and rope. Genetically modified rubber trees and rubber products (important for skin-tight clothing to shield the effects of chlorine) are also another major export offplanet. This is in addition to the various food crops grown to provide staples and for economic trade.

Food crops were a huge challenge for early settlers. Edible crops that are chlorine dependent or resistant were genetically engineered based on common known grain and vegetable crops. There were a mix of species introduced locally to complement the research, and fauna as well. Some were simply planted or let loose and watched to see what survived. Others were genetically engineered in response to research on why most life forms died and what was needed on a micro-biology level to ensure survival of crops and livestock for agriculture. A combination of research methods was used at first to develop the life infrastructure needed.

In order to make the meat palatable (instead of tasting somewhat like soap), smoked meats where developed to at first cover the flavour. As centuries passed, the best smoking methods and culinary traditions have developed. Rech is now famous for its smoked meats and spicy sausages, both of which are a prime export. In a similar way, leather is a major agricultural commodity on Rech. The smoking and meat preserving skills developed quickly transferred to leather production with animal skins, especially when combined with the advanced micro-biological technology available.

Over the 1,500 years or so since settlement, breeding has replaced genetic engineering as the primary adaptation mechanism. Once genetic engineering established basic survival thresholds for local conditions, it was possible to experiment with breeding to refine the best survival mechanisms. There are some wilderness animals in and around the terraformed Rech projects, but mostly the surface is barren of life.

The animal encounter tables are restricted to the Terraformed Zones (shown in green on the world map). There are rarer encounters just beyond this zone, as noted next to the tables.

Descriptions

There is not that much variation in life on Rech as it is largely imported based on settlement needs. Many creatures encountered in the wild are simply escaped domestic animals or their descendants. There are some species that have been introduced carefully into the wild simply to balance the ecology, and so there is a growing wilderness on Rech. There are two larger creatures that are worth a more detailed description.

Iugolo Carnotauros:
A predator originally introduced to control livestock that had turned feral in the wild. The introduction of this species from a nearby world was bitterly opposed by the scientific community on Rech. But history and politics means that, ironically, the land-owning class demanding action on feral livestock became childishly more determined to introduce the species (see History and Rech Government). The entirely predicted result was a minor ecological catastrophe. This animal is now itself a threat to domestic livestock and humans and is actively hunted by Rech land-owners (see Hunting Rifle on page [xx] designed specifically for this purpose). It is a lizard-like animal weighing in at 1600kg. It runs on its hind legs and resembles a smaller version of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, although its forepaws contain vicious claws. From teeth-filled snout to tail it measures around 30 metres, and walks as fast as a human can run.
Giant horn-backed turtle:
A river-based turtle originally introduced simply to eat river weeds to keep them in check. They are very heavy, and stand about one metre high, but have dome-like bodies about two metres in diameter. Their hide is covered in horns which they use to ram attackers, but they are timid creatures who typically swim off at any approach. Their shells are incredibly tough, and are the subject of much biological research.

History

Rech: Chronology
Ca. –1520 Probable first sighting/contact with Rech by Terran traders
-401 Terran exiles take note of Rech for settlement potential. Nothing comes of this. System bodies named for Terran home district of survey commander’s family.
-399 Gram (Sword Worlds capital) settled
-300 Sword Worlds settlement complete
-150 Sword Worlds survey ships re-investigate Rech. Detailed survey considers life is possible with some adaptation.
-112 Settlement established on Rech by Sword Worlds colonists. Scientific adaptation to chlorinated environment made top priority. Introduction of genetically-modified plant and animal life begins.
-102 Tyrfing Incident triggers widespread rebellion in Sword Worlds. Rech settlement cut off as Sword Worlds interest turns inward.
-100 Rech government forms around a charismatic individual who adopts the title “The Kanzler”, who gives highest priority to science to adapt to surviving on Rech without high technology.
-70 University of Glees established.
-60 Civil war narrowly averted. Caused by clash of priority of scientific process with emerging agricultural population. Compromise worked out; The Kanzler appoints The Counsellor, who heads up population administration; each acts as advisor to the other.
-56 Geselligkeit first formalized with a regular meeting of scientists and farmers determined to keep proper records. The Counsellor’s power cemented as result.
0 Founding of Third Imperium
60 First Imperial settlement in Spinward Marches
65 First Imperial contact with Rech
101 Rech integrated into Imperium
341 Iugolo Carnotauros introduced to control livestock turned feral. This animal soon became a vicious predator in its own right and a legendary danger on Rech

Rech was first explored by Terran exiles who left Terra around -420. This migration wave moved on to establish the Sword Worlds. The survey commander’s home town was Rech in Ahrweiler, Northern Germany on Terra, and he named many features of the Rech system for municipalities and towns from this region. Some 250 years later, an initial settlement was established of scientists whose priority was settlement of Rech as the planet appeared reasonably habitable (if challenging) and with plenty of land. The planet had not yet been occupied due to environmental challenges facing any settlers.

Initial problems encountered almost proved too hard too surmount. The breathing problems were quickly solved with filter masks. Exposure to the skin was not a problem for short periods over several days, but more lengthy exposure threatened long-term health. Initial expeditions covered up with vacc suits as this was standard issue equipment, but this was not practical for settlers into the long term. The population adapted by completely covering the skin with locally fashioned clothes. This has lead to a general preference for milder or even colder parts of the planets as locals tend to ‘rug up’ against exposure to chlorine, including boots and gloves.

There were enormous problems for settlers in relation to water supply—no directly drinkable source of water existed. Explorers initially distilled water with the abundant supply of energy available with fusion power plants from starships. But this was not economically nor technologically viable for colonists, especially as the initial settlement occurred towards the end of the Long Night several centuries before the Third Imperium reached the Spinward Marches. Fusion power plants require skilled staff to maintain them, and with a small and initially very transient population, a cheaper and less complex solution was needed.

A bacterial based filtration system was developed that involved shifting large volumes of water through several permeable membranes that had chlorine-fixing bacteria in them. The bacteria were self sustaining in the open environment, and were later able to be used to establish open micro-cultures in the surface soil. This eventually lead to sufficient soil improvement to enable the ability to grow genetically modified crops in the open air. This introduced micro-biological life to Rech for the first time.

The initial settlement used hydroponics to grow food in enclosed areas, which expanded to enormous green houses with built-in air filtering and de-acidification of rainwater. Growing food in this way became common and self-sustaining but was still relatively labor intensive—after all, filters must be maintained and green houses must be built.

Lack of native life also lead to all biological resources being imported. Even the state of the soil was completely sterile, and introducing lower level bacteria for composting and other soil enrichment techniques were at first failures as the bleaching derived from the atmosphere was very strong. Even human excrement was quickly bleached and useless after several days for compost—a process which takes 6 to 8 weeks.

The research that lead to chlorine fixing bacteria for purifying air and water also lead to cultivation of nitrogen-fixing strains that could survive the bleached conditions of the soil on Rech. This was the initial basis for projects to enrich the soil and make possible crops in local conditions. This research lead to the building and maintaining of a local scientific community that would maintain a high level of technology in certain areas such as genetics, environment and biochemistry all deemed highly important to adaptation to Rech.

Chlorine-fixing bacterial methods began to produce self-sustaining managed life cycles, and in turn well-ordered agricultural communities. Some of the newly introduce genetically modified bacteria began spreading their own colonies around the world, and has set the stage for the beginnings of wild plant life. None has been recorded yet, although large parts of Rech remain unexplored. Based on this initial science, crops and animals for human consumption were introduce (see Life Forms of Rech). From these animals also came meat, and culinary traditions evolved as noted above. However, the chlorine bleaching of plant life which were the animals diet made the meat unpalatable to humans. Smoking techniques were developed, and a culinary tradition built around smoked meats was formed. This is now a source of interstellar pride for Rech. These self-sustaining technological innovations meant that the local settlement could survive at a relatively low technological level, although life in an agricultural community requiring filter masks and head to toe clothing is by no means easy.

The first formal government was formed around a charismatic scientist Wolfgang Hausen. He is considered the first Kanzler of Rech and directed the scientific strategy for survival on Rech. The second Kanzler, John Mueller was appointed by Hausen on his death. This established the long-held tradition of appointment of the next Kanzler by the previous in their Will.

The science-based survival and biological techniques quickly became well known. As a result settlement became viable and a new class of land holders emerged, demanding more political power. They were not satisfied with government by scientific bureaucracy. The population had grown and so had the economy. The social unrest in -60 almost came to civil war. Fortunately a compromise was struck: The Kanzler would share power with a second person who had approval of the new land owning class. But the Kanzler would have the constitutional power to dismiss the second person, known as The Counsellor.

Gatherings of land owners and their families kept a close eye on the emerging political compromise, and records started to be kept of meetings. These gatherings—initially “social” gathereings and hence called Geselligkeit—were bent strongly in favour of the land owners and away from the scientific community. They regarded The Counsellor as “their man”. They gave laws enacted by him their tacit acceptance or rejection. This was later formalised and so The Counsellor enacted laws by distributing them to Geselligkeit who quickly organized formal structures. The Geselligkeit came to act as local law centres, including recruitment of juries for deciding questions of law. Social power came through being a land-holder, and social advancement through their social structure, primarily Geselligkeit.

Interstellar trade was never completely cut off—but this backwater world inevitably became a land-working peasant community, and associated conservative attitudes developed. This was balanced with scientific progress needed for expanding useful land depended upon maintaining environmental technology. But other technology deteriorated and expertise diminished. This was slowly rebuilt after the contact with the Imperium, but technology adoption has been very slow.

The Third Imperium has been friendly trade relations with Rech, offering the exchange of scientific support and useful products for agricultural goods. The city of Glees has a major established university that regularly collaborates with off-world scholars and a fruitful relationship has developed, promoting the scientific insights brought about by solutions to thriving in conditions on Rech. This has extended in recent years to social and historical studies and Glees has attracted modest but significant academic attention. However local attitudes (dominated by Geselligkeit and the land-owning class) poorly recognise Rech’s academic contribution because “proper” people work the land and attend Geselligkeit (see Geselligkeit). The academic world is known for having more liberal opinions because of their contact with interstellar life and urbanisation.

The on-going history of Rech is dominated by these two factions: the agricultural landowning class represented politically by The Counsellor; and the urban and scientific community are represented by The Kanzler.

The People and Cities of Rech

Rech: Population-related Details
Total Population 59,300,000
Notable Local Custom Military figures name children for entertainment figures
CITIES
Name Population Port Class
Alternhar 8,000,000 D
Honnigen 8,000,000 E
Kalenborn 7,000,000 G
Glees 6,000,000 E
Waldorf 3,000,000 H
Meuspath 900,000 H
Aremburg 700,000 H
Insul 700,000 H
30 other cities each 500,000 H
117 small cities each 50,000 H
570 towns each 5,000 Y
2,580 villages each 500 Y

The economy is functioning but relatively small, and relies on agricultural exports. As discussed in the history above, the population of 59,000,000 is generally conservative in outlook—although the prevailing conservative attitudes are much less pronounced in the primary cities. This is largely a response to the great need for communities to ensure tight social bonds in the face of the environmental challenges facing them in a world that is largely self-reliant because it is a back-water. Having said this, there is a hard work ethic mixed up with a generally conservative ethos. Advancement through hard work and right behaviour is approved.

The people of Rech are stern, quiet and will not readily start conflict. They will not hesitate to defend and organise themselves, but their conservative nature works in with their unaggressive attitude. A life’s hard work on the land in a hostile environment has made them very reserved. Their military might has not been frequently tested, though it does have a reasonable military budget given its circumstances.

The military is not therefore socially prominent, and so looks up to other more famous social strata. This has lead to the tradition of officers naming their children for local media personalities, singers, actors, dancers and other entertainers. Children are most commonly named in the military for interstellar entertainers whom player characters are likely to recognise.

Rechians are not exactly hostile to interstellar visitors. In fact, in the startowns of Alternhar, Honnigen and Glees they are motivated to friendliness by catering to offworlders. But travellers wandering outside the major cities and starports will encounter a taciturn people who will take some patient coaxing before anything like courtesy will be forthcoming. The world as a whole has very even social attitudes and all Rech inhabitants recognise a common culture that works together (see more under Government and Geselligkeit). Inhabitants are spread over the one inhabited continent, Berg (a very wide area), but are closely tied together socially.

The cities of Alternhar and Honnigen are completely sealed against the tainted atmosphere. It is possible for people to spend their entire day in a sealed environment, including parks, gardens and agriculture broadly based on the original greenhouse schema. The cities are not arcologies under a giant dome, but have hundreds of miniarcologies as well as more mundane buildings.

The establishment of basic starport facilities at Alternhar and Honnigen has attracted large swathes of the local population to them, seeking the opportunities that interstellar trade provides.

The starport at Glees has recently opened to interstellar trade and so at the moment is only a landing facility. Kalenborn, ironically, has better facilities including unrefined fuel, but is restricted to chartered supply ships that make the infrequent but regular journey between Rech and Bauler.

The Terraform Project

The major city of Alternhar is at the centre of a terraforming ‘green’ project. This project has taken centuries to progress and includes the introduction of life to wilderness areas in addition to developing more arable land.

The smaller city of Aremburg is just beyond the edge of the Alternhar Green Project. Its primary function is to host the facilities for extending the project up the Very Big Canyon River. It also serves as a major river port on the route between Honnigen and Alternhar.

Muespath and Insul, similarly, are focal points for the Green Project on the north coast of Berg. This project is now extending towards the major city of Kalenborn.

The Very Big Canyon River is another place where life has been seeded to found a new ecology. The river teems with life compared to the rest of the planet, although communities have yet to settle there in great numbers. While there are some small settlements along the river, especially outposts of environmental rangers, Aremburg is the last serious city on the river until Honnigen. The river is mostly wilderness as a result.

The animal enounter tables at the end of this module reflect the limited animal life on Rech. It is confined to the Green Project and the river, with some life encroaching further, and beyond that arid desert.

Note that all settled places contain agriculture, ecologies, and tamed life. The Green Project is to spread wild life on Rech to create a self-sustaining ecology.

Animal Encounters and Events on Rech
River Alternhar and The Very Big Canyon
2D Encounter Mass Hits Weapon Dmg Armor   Action
2 2 Carrion Eaters 200kg 6/7 Thrasher 3 None 0 A7 F7 S3
3 Rainstorm: A sudden rainstorm reduces visibility turns the ground into thick mud. Ground travel is slowed to one quarter. Water travel becomes hazardous.
4 2 Reducers 100kg 5/6 Claws 2 None 0 A4 F3 S2
5 1 Hunter 12kg 6/2 Hooves 2 None 0 A1 F6 S1
6 1 Flying Grazer 100kg 5/5 Thrasher 2 None 0 F1 A4 S2
7 Giant Horn-back Turtle 200kg 9/4 Horns 3 cbt +4 6 F0 A4 S2
8 Giant Horn-back Turtle 200kg 9/4 Horns 3 cbt +4 6 F0 A4 S2
9 1 Chaser 200kg 3/7 as Blade 3 Jack (1) Am F8 S3
10 Intense Chlorine Mists: an eerie green-yellow mist accumulates on the surface ankle deep.
11 1 Flying Chaser 1kg 1/0 as Pike 1 Jack (1) Am F4 S2
12 1 Pouncer 200kg 11/4 Claws & Teeth 3 Jack (1) As Fs S1
Terraformed Zone - Forest
2D Encounter Mass Hits Weapon Dmg Armor   Action
2 1 Carrion Eater 1kg 1/0 Claws 1 Jack (1) A9 F7 S1
3 Rainstorm: A sudden rainstorm reduces visibility turns the ground into thick mud. Ground travel is slowed to one quarter.
4 2 Intimidators 6kg 1/0 Claws 1 None 0 A4 F6 S2
5 1 Flying Gatherer 1kg 1/0 Claws 1 Jack (1) A5 F3 S2
6 3 Filters 1kg 1/0 Claws & Teeth 1 Jack (1) F8 Ap S0
7 1 Intermittent 3kg 1/1 Horns & Hooves 1 None 0 F7 A5 S1
8 1 Intermittent 25kg 2/3 Horns & Hooves 2 None 0 F7 A8 S1
9 2 Killers 1kg 1/0 Teeth+1 1 Jack (1) A6 F4 S2
10 Chlorine Mists: an eerie green-yellow mist gathers in hollows and holes
11 Vehicle Tracks: tracks of a vehicle cross the party's path. If the party follows them in the right direction, they will be eventually lead to civilisation.
12 1 Trapper 1kg 1/0 Claws+1 & Teeth+1 1 Jack -1 As F5 S0
Terraformed Zone - Plains/Prairie
2D Encounter Mass Hits Weapon Dmg Armor   Action
2 1 Flying Hijacker 1kg 1/0 Thrasher 1 None 0 F8 A8 S1
3 Rainstorm: A sudden rainstorm reduces visibility turns the ground into thick mud. Ground travel is slowed to one quarter.
4 3 Flying Intimidators 3kg 1/1 Hooves 1 None 0 A7 F4 S1
5 3 Eaters 50kg 5/6 Claws 2 None 0 A1 F5 S1
6 1 Flying Grazer 3kg 1/1 Horns 1 None 0 F4 A7 S2
7 1 Flying Intermittent 1kg 1/0 Thrasher 1 None 0 F8 A6 S1
8 1 Grazer 100kg 6/5 Horns & Teeth 2 None 0 F0 A6 S2
9 Iugolo Carnitauros 1600kg 13/8 Claws & Teeth 7 None 0 Am F4 S2
10 Chlorine Mists: an eerie green-yellow mist gathers in hollows and holes
11 4 Flying Chasers 1kg 1/0 Claws 1 Jack (1) Am F9 S2
12 1 Flying Chaser 1kg 1/0 Claws 1 None 0 Am F8 S2

Chlorine Mists and Intense Chlorine Mists: Visibility limited to 50m for 1D hours (Intense limits to 20m for 2D hours). Characters must immediately don sealed breathing (filter masks would be overwhelmed) or suffer Atmosphere Exposure.

To don breathing equipment:
Routine, Survival, Dex, 2 seconds (hazardous, unskilled OK)
Referee: Mishaps indicate injury due to failure to don equipment correctly or in time.

Rainstorm: A sudden rainstorm (lasting 1D 10 minutes) reduces visibility to 50m and turns the ground into thick mud (for 1D km of journey). Ground travel is slowed to one quarter. Travelling 250m by boat requires success at the following task:

To navigate 250m of river by boat in a rainstorm:
Difficult, Water Craft, Dexterity, 20 seconds (hazardous)

Other terrain: Most of Rech is arid. In hexes adjacent to these terrain types, roll 9+ if an animal (not event) is rolled for the encounter to occur. This represents some animals venturing beyond the terraformed project. If hexes further away, use Plains/Prairie chart, but results indicating an animal are treated as ‘no encounter’.

Rech Government: The Kanzler and The Counsellor

Social Standing on Rech
Initial: Social Standing as normally applied is different to local social standing.\Subtract 5 from Social Standing for Rech Social Standing (RSOC)—this represents some recognition of important individuals.
Improving: To add +2 to Rech Social Standing:\Difficult, Liaison, RSOC, 1 week\Referee: Time spent assumes Geselligkeit attendance weekly. This task fails at any absence, but may be tried again on a successful determination roll without increasing difficulty. Note that time spent is only one morning per week, but attendance must be steady and weekly for task to succeed - the character may use the rest of the week as normal. If there is a hazard, apply damage to RSOC. Character also gains Survival-0.
Personal Reaction: RSOC is very ingrained culturally. In all interpersonal tasks, RSOC is always the primary characteristic used. Higher RSOC indicates more familiarity with Rech social structure and the ability to operate in it.
Skill Acquisition: To improve Survival Skill:\Routine, INT, 2 weeks\Referee: Survival-0 is required. The 1 week time represents weekly attendance at Geselligkeit. A character may miss one attendance in a row, but the skill is not considered acquired until the task rolled number of weeks attendance have been completed. This task may be performed concurrently with the task above after Survival-0 is obtained.
Geselligkeit Shop Rech Chlorine Filter masks (Cr25, 1 litre, 0.5kg), and a set of clothes in local styles (RSOC x Cr200) can be purchased. This ties in closely with survival necessities on Rech.
Rech: Government–related Details
Authority Branch Type Name
Representative Executive Single Ruler The Kanzler
Other Legislative Single Ruler The Counsellor
Other Judicial Demos Juries drawn from Geselligkeit

The planet is governed by the Kanzler, who appoints his or her successor as part of their last will and testament. Intrigue has occasionally surrounded the forging of The Kanzler’s last will and testament, leading to conflict over the rightful succession. However, the conservative outlook of the population usually favours one party or the other very clearly. The ‘religion’ (see Geselligkeit; also see History) on Rech also has a conservative influence. A strong ethical sentiment of Geselligkeit is that participating in conflict can only be for self-defence, thus starting a conflict to gain power will generally be unsupported by the people of Rech. The Kanzler is always at least nominally a practicing member of Geselligkeit and any pretender to ruling must take it into consideration. This has been a stable form of government over time as it has produced many popularly supported Kanzlers, including the current one. The Kanzler appoints The Counsellor, who effectively runs the legislature as his or her own show. Both The Kanzler and The Counsellor must approve any new laws, and new laws may be initiated by either party. The Kanzler may impeach The Counsellor although not the other way around. The Kanzler is also the commander-in-chief of the military and runs the police force and the public service.

Impeachment results in a public trial. But as The Counsellor is always the titular head of Geselligkeit, impeachments are rare—the conservative population (even those who do not regularly attend devotion) can easily be roused against this offence on their sensibilities by the mass media.

There are three ways The Counsellor is removed from the post: death or disablement; the death of The Kanzler (the incoming Kanzler appoints the new Counsellor, but may decide to affirm the current Counsellor which generally happens); or impeachment. It should be noted that a new Kanzler will balance appointing a new Counsellor with the ruptures that dismissing the previous one will cause. This is often a matter of very shrewd political judgement and the first test of leadership for a new Kanzler.

The judicial system is entirely a trial by jury system. All inhabitants of the world may be drafted for jury service with a local day’s warning only (but involuntary drafting is almost unheard of—see Geselligkeit). Jurors are generally free to reside wherever they like, but must report daily for any trial they have been drafted to. Failure to report for jury service is an indictable offence itself, leading to immediate trial—and is heard unsympathetically as failing to participate in civic life. Rech citizens will thus rarely fail to report for jury service. Trials are flexible affairs in relation to who governs them, but the rules of trial are rigid. Jury selection and trial procedure are governed by laws set by The Counsellor. The law is commonly known throughout the population through regular recitation at weekly Geselligkeit. Jury selection is biased towards those who regularly attend devotion.

Rech Law: Strict and Conservative

Rech: Law Level-related Details
Overall 10 (A) Extreme  
Weapons 13 (D) Extreme All weapons prohibited, paramilitary law enforcement
Trade 8 High  
Criminal 8 High Citizen’s Arrest routine
Civil 10 (A) Extreme Unification of Civil and Criminal procedure
Freedom 11 (B) Extreme Travel permits required; guides mandatory for visitors

Law enforcement is carried out by police who are loyal to The Kanzler. They must take arrestees before a local Gatherer (a local Geselligkeit convenor) who organises smaller juries (up to half a dozen) for details such as bail, confinement and trial, and larger juries (up to 20) for actual trials, depending on the severity of the offence.

Law is very strict on Rech—and locals being quite conservative have no hesitation in reporting goings-on to local police. In fact, citizen arrests are not rare—a perceived wrongdoer is taken to the local Geselligkeit hall for due process. Police are always quick to respond to citizens calling for help in these matters.

Open carry of weapons is completely prohibited, and travellers from off-world will find that government appointed guides are compulsory if they wish to travel outside the major cities of Alternhar and Honnigen. They will also need permission and papers showing this must be carried at all times. Guides come in many varieties. Some are wilderness guides permitted to carry weapons such as the hunting rifle for protection against Iugolo Carnitauros, while others are versed in the differences between Rech natives and off-worlders and guide travellers through local customs.

Geselligkeit: The Religion of Rech

Religion Profile: Geselligkeit
God View Agnosticism: It is impossible to know whether or not there is a god.
Spiritual Aim Ethical and moral standards are their own reward, regardless of the possibility of heavenly rewards or punishments
Devotion Required Weekly
Organisation Rigid Hierarchy with most decisions on a local level
Liturgical Formality Services are conducted by rote in common languages
Missionary Fervour Zealous among a limited number of sophont races
Number of Adherents Millions

The IISS classified Geselligkeit as a religion, but it is really a form of public civic life. Weekly devotion includes recitation by rote of standard creeds. Attendees have often grown up attending weekly meetings: the creeds are very well known in the population, and there are many commonly understood allusions to them in daily speech. By way of comparison, the phrase “the quick and the dead” on 20th Century Earth is an allusion to a Christian creed (the Nicene Creed) although it has lost its original meaning. Similarly the phrase on 20th Century Earth “Haste is of the Devil” is an allusion to the Qur’an.

Local congregations are organised informally and can meet in any place, but tend towards halls (small and large) constructed for the purpose of meeting. Generally the larger the city or town, the more formal the meeting place. This is because over time, libraries of the law tend to be stored in these buildings for use in services or for legal research as need arises.

The recitations each week can include matters other than ethics—especially environmental and agricultural science and survival matters. All of these matters overlap with ethics in Rech society. For example, safety procedures for being outdoors are dealt with in a rote recitation that is revised from time to time. This overlaps with ethics because interfering with another person’s clothing or breathing apparatus is considered a personal crime. Total time for attendance each week is 3 hours—generally it can be considered to take all morning once a week.

The structure of Geselligkeit is derived from early gatherings to ensure exchange of knowledge for survival. This developed into preserving agriculture in a low tech hostile environment, and dealing with environmental conditions such as the chlorine in the atmosphere. Special areas of knowledge preserved in this way include the algal techniques that absorb chlorine from the air in filters and sustaining chlorine-fixing microbial cultures used in the open soil.

Adherents generally decide their own meeting times and places and informally appoint someone to lead the recitation. Children are brought along to learn the extended creed by heart as they grow up—the religion was at first entirely an oral tradition, planet-bound to Rech. Devotees are classified as “fervent missionaries”—but this really only reflects the conservative social expectation that Rech inhabitants should “attend Geselligkeit”.

Off-worlders may attend but it is considered odd and will receive hostile stares in congregation for at least a few weeks of attendance. Nonhumans cannot attend and if they try they will be asked to leave, and if they refuse, they will be removed by police. After a few weeks of attendance, locals will start to accept a traveler as serious about participating in social life on Rech. Participating in Geselligkeit is considered a social norm and Rech inhabitants encourage each other to come.

The recitations were codified centuries ago. They were adapted over time to also extend basic ethics and survival into recitations of the law as enacted by The Counsellor (see Government). The Counsellor is the titular head of Geselligkeit and the process of enacting law is done by distributing it to Geselligkeit leaders (Gatherers—RSOC 10+) across Rech, who then introduce it to congregations in the form of a new reading for recitation. The final confirmation of legislation is, the recitation of the law by local Geselligkeit. The recitation books are effectively the law library in the custody of the local Gatherer. As enacting a law is only confirmed on recitation at Geselligkeit, passage of legislation is slow.

Being known as “regular at Geselligkeit” can improve a person’s social standing. Local Geselligkeit leaders invite regular attendees to lead recitations, which is a great honour in the community (RSOC 8+ required to be approached). Gatherers are selected by local congregations, but eligibility is strictly controlled by The Counsellor (although obviously in a population of almost 60,000,000 it is in reality the public service under The Counsellor who administer it day to day).

Attendees at Geselligkeit sign a roll to prove attendance. This is the primary form of census taking and data collection on Rech. It is from attendance at Geselligkeit that members of juries are primarily drawn. Any adult can be drafted for jury duty but volunteers for needed trials are called for at Geselligkeit and where there are more volunteers than needed, precedence is given to citizens who have attended Geselligkeit more. This generally leads to older citizens taking up jury duty more often. It is considered a mark of wisdom and respect to be chosen for jury service, and those who have served on juries have records kept and are generally recognised community leaders. It is from such people that Gatherers are generally drawn from the local community (subject to an appointment being confirmed by The Counsellor).

In summary, as well as propagating the law, providing a social structure and jury selection, Geselligkeit also helps sustain a generally conservative outlook. The population are open to change and advancement, but only incrementally and only through accepted social structures. Geselligkeit centres also form local law library and population record keeping centres, and report overall results to the central authority in the person of The Counsellor.

Rech: Technology

Rech: Technology Profile
Area of Achievement TL
Common Low
High
6
6
Quality of Life Energy
Computer/Robotics
Communications
Medical
Environment
6
6
6
6
10 (A)
Transport Land
Water
Air
Space
7
7
5
5
Military Personal
Heavy
7
6
Novelty   12

Rech has maintained a very even spread of technology across the world. The early work by scientists and settlers to establish microbial life as a foundation for settlement was continued, but other local technology generally deteriorated.

The University of Glees has famously maintained laboratories and microbial life studies that have kept the technology alive for generations. This kind of innovation and maintenance of technology is usually at odds with a conservative attitude. But agricultural and environmental interests are major economic concerns on Rech and the studies of the university are supported and funded in large part by those interests as well as supported by government. Thus, there is agreement between the scientific community whose political expression is The Kanzler, and the land holding class whose political expression is The Counsellor. Through The Kanzler the University of Glees maintains a high profile patron who provides them with political protection.

The environmental tech-level of 10 has resulted from strong scientific institutions developing knowledge in the long-term. It has culminated in the achievement of completely sealing several large cities—every building in Alternhar has been sealed against the chlorine atmosphere with efficient filtering of the atmosphere and comprehensive air conditioning. The city has a series of miniarcologies completely under cover that provide very pleasant open spaces where environmental discipline can be relaxed. This has been a massive exercise in terraforming that has taken decades as the economy begins to expand thanks to trade under the Imperium.

The sealed city is still extending. Roads, passages and walkways have been comprehensively sealed as well, so it is possible to live entirely indoors away from the tainted atmosphere. Established agriculture hundreds of years ago allowed security of food supply and hence the ability for higher technological forms to be maintained, although not to an interstellar level for the most part.

The strong scientific and academic community maintain the advanced bacterial and algae knowledge crucial for dealing with the local environment. The environmental technology also extends to very advanced models for weather prediction. This has been crucial for the best conditions in which to plant crops that can be subject to extreme weather conditions in very short bursts of time, bearing in mind that in the space of 80 days (less than one Terran season), the complete cycle of seasons takes place. In the most habitable latitudes (hex rows 3 and 4) this is a variation from -5C on the coldest winter nights to 41C summer days.

Technology in areas such as weather prediction, placement of living soil cultures, human and animal habitat is at a high level relative to the technology generally in circulation. Crops, plants and animals had to be adapted through genetic engineering and shielded from the environment to adapt to local conditions. The advanced weather prediction also makes practical air transport possible in a stormy atmosphere. Military strategists could also make plans based on the weather—but the need has not yet arisen and military planning is not a high priority for The Kanzler.

Energy is still at tech level 6—the internal combustion engine is the available technology. But having no native life has meant that the planet also has no oil reserves, coal or hydrocarbons available for fuel. This has been solved by the use of biodiesel, wind farms, and hydro electric power. There is an enormous hydro-electric at Honnigen, where the Very Big Canyon River flows down from the Ahlberg Mountains. This has been supplemented by algae based solutions for mass fermentations to produce fuel alcohol. Hydrocarbon fuels are a major market here for merchants and fetch a good price as alcohol based fuels and biodiesel are expensive to produce—they require a large area of productive land, which is in short supply on Rech (although unproductive land is not).

The personal military technology of 7 applies to police in general as well as the military. This reflects a relatively sophisticated ability to investigate crime and bring violence to bear.

The mix of technology is typified by Rechian filter masks. They are made of leather with metal rivets and studs, yet contain advanced modules based on chlorine-fixing bacteria that make a filter system practical, even if on occasion sealed breathing systems must be donned.

Rech Vehicle Designs

There are only a few vehicle types manufactured domestically on Rech; of them, only the Rech ATV is exported.

Note on vehicle designs: As per published MegaTraveller errata, damage points have been multiplied by ten in design evaluations, before rounding.

Craft ID: Fighter Aircraft, TL5, Cr587,190
Hull: 20/50, Disp = 23, Weight: Loaded = 5 tonnes, Airframe= Simple, Armor = None
Power: 0.04 MW (drawn from engines), Endurance = 6h 20m
Loco: 4/10m Basic propeller, Thrust = 2.02t, Cruise = 225kph, Top = 300kph, Min = 150kph, Agility = 1, Range = 1440km
Commo: Radio = VDist (50km)
Sensors: None
Off: Medium Machine Gun 8, 16,000 rounds
Def: None
Control: Simple controls, Simple cockpit
Accom: Crew = 1 (Pilot), Oxygen tanks and mask
Other: Fuel = 960l, hydrocarbons
This basic small fighter provides air cover for ground attack aircraft, though not enough to stand up to interstellar craft
Craft ID: All Terrain Vehicle, TL6, Cr97,348
Hull: 36/90, Disp = 4, Config = 4USL, Armour = 10B, Loaded = 50.42 tons, Unloaded = 43.34 tons, Turret = 1% (0.5kL)
Power: 3/6, Improved Int. Comb. = 1.6MW, Duration = 30 hours, Air Intake Filter
Loco: 10/20, Tracks, Max Speed = 85kph, Off-road = 50kph, Range = 2,550km (1,530km off-road)
Commo: Radio = Continental
Sensors: Headlights=4, Environment Sensor, Magnetic Sensor, Radiation Sensor, Active IR Sensor, Passive IR Sensor (sensors turret-mounted)
Off: None
Def: Smoke Discharger
Control: Panel = Enhanced Mechanical x 6, Basic Env, Basic LS, Extended Life Support, Air Lock
Accom: Crew = 1 (Driver - cramped), Passengers = 5
Other: Fuel = 3000 litres hydrocarbon, Cargo = 3180kg
For extended exploration surface work; also a minor export
Craft ID: Troop Transport Truck, TL6, Cr25,901
Hull: 45/113, Disp = 5, Config = 4USL, Armour = 1B, Loaded = 20.25 tonnes, Unloaded = 14.61 tonnes
Power: 3/6, Improved Int, Comb. = 1.6MW, Duration = 21 hours, Air Intake filter
Loco: 8/16, Wheels, Max Speed = 126kph, Off-road = 37kph
Commo: Radio = Continental
Sensors: Headlights = 4, Environment Sensor, Magnetic Sensor, Radiation Sensor
Off: None
Def: Smoke Discharger
Control: Panel = Enhanced Mechanical 4, Environment = basic env
Accom: Crew = 1 (Driver), Passengers = 22
Other: Fuel = 2200l hydrocarbon, Cargo = 200kg
The primary troop mover on Rech, the Troop Transport Truck is ubiquitous with the Rech military
Craft ID: Ground Support Aircraft, TL5, Cr111,065
Hull: 28/70, Disp = 31.11, Loaded = 7 tonnes, Unloaded (“Clean”) = 6.02 tonnes, Airframe = Simple, Armour = None
Power: 0.04MW (drawn from engines), Endurance = 6h 20m
Loco: 4/10, Basic Propeller, Thrust = 2.02 tons, Cruise = 225kph, Top = 300kph, Min = 150kph, Agility = 1, Range = 1440km
Commo: Radio = Distant (5km)
Sensors: None
Off: Medium Machine Gun 2, 2000 rds, Hardpoints (4 inboard, 4 outboard, 1 fuselage), Max external stores = 980kg
Def: None
Control: Simple Controls, Simple Cockpit
Accom: Crew = 1 (Pilot), Oxygen Tank and Mask
Other: Fuel = 960l hydrocarbon
Typical load-out 9 50kg bombs. Intended to support tanks and APCs making quick ground for a lightning strike
Craft ID: Armoured Personnel Carrier, TL8, Cr56,714
Hull: 27/68, Disp = 3, Config = 4USL, Armour = 10B, Loaded = 26.82 tonnes, Unloaded = 23.27 tonnes
Power: 3/6, Improved Int. Comb. = 1.6MW, Duration = 21 hours
Loco: 6/12, Wheels, Max Speed = 111kph, Off-road = 33kph
Commo: Radio = Continental
Sensors: Headlights = 4, Environment Sensor, Magnetic Sensor, Radiation Sensor
Off: Heavy Machine Gun 2, 1000 Rounds (500 each), Pen/Atten = 6/3, Damage = 3, Max Range = VLong, Autofire Targets = 2, Danger Space = nil; Signature = Hi, Recoil = Medium, Difficulty As = FCTL
Def: Smoke Discharger
Control: Panel = Enhanced Mechanical 8, Environment = basic env, basic ls
Accom: Crew = 3 (Driver, Gunner, Commander), Passengers = 6
Other: Fuel = 2200l hydrocarbon
The APC can deliver 6 personnel in a moderately armoured and sealed environment and provide support with two HMGs. Generally two APCs will deliver a squad and anchor each flank of the squad with automatic fire support. Rech military doctrine dictates that Armoured Infantry units have integral tank support for heavier fire. APCs are vulnerable to missiles and higher tech energy weapons.
Craft ID: Transport Aircraft, TL5, Cr857,190
Hull: 160/400, Disp = 178, Loaded = 40 tonnes, Airframe = Simple (STOL), Armour = None
Power: 0.24MW (drawn from engine), Endurance = 4h 50m
Loco: 4/10 (6), Basic Propellers = 6, Thrust = 12.12 tons, Cruise = 225kph, Top = 300kph, Min = 75kph, Agility = 0, Range = 1100km
Commo: Radio = Regional (500km)
Sensors: Headlights = 4, Environment Sensor
Off: None
Def: None
Control: Simple Controls, Simple Cockpit, Crew Station
Accom: Crew = 2 (Pilot, Co-Pilot), Passengers = 160, Basic Env, Basic LS
Other: Fuel = 4400l hydrocarbon, Cargo = 5.8 tons
The Rech transport aircraft is designed to move a full rifle company minus its vehicles but with all other equipment and ordnance. It is designed for “frontier” usage with short take-off and landing.
Craft ID: Tank, TL6, Cr257,605
Hull: 27/68, Disp = 3, Config = 4USL, Armour = 26B, Loaded = 94.54 tonnes, Unloaded = 89.48 tonnes
Power: 3/6, Improved Int. Comb. = 1.6MW, Duration = 21h, Intake Air Filter
Loco: 6/12, Tracks, Max Speed = 55kph, Off-road = 16kph
Commo: Radio = Continental
Sensors: Headlights = 4, Environment Sensor, Magnetic Sensor, Radiation Sensor
Off: Heavy Machine Gun 2 (Stabilisation Gears), 1000 Rounds (500 each), Pen/Atten = 6/3, Damage = 3, Max Range = VLong, Autofire Targets = 2, Danger Space = nil; Signature = Hi, Recoil = Medium, Difficulty As FCTL
14cm Hi-Velocity CPR Gun (Stabilisation Gears), RoF = 5, 100 Rounds, Max Range = Distant (24km), Signature = Medium, Difficulty As = FCTL
HE shells, Pen = 20, Damage = 18
KEAP shells, Pen = 35, Damage = 14
Def: Smoke Discharger
Control: Panel = Enhanced Mechanical 39, Environment = basic env, basic ls, airlock
Accom: Crew = 3 (Driver, Gunner, Commander)
Other: Fuel = 3000l hydrocarbon, Cargo = 1.6 tons
The tank is designed as a lower-tech ‘can opener’ and is one of the few vehicles on Rech tough enough to stand up to higher-tech forces. Even so, casualties among the five tank battalions would be high. The tank also supports advancing armoured infantry with HE load-outs and HMGs, while using KEAP ammunition for vehicle stopping power.
Craft ID: Utility Transport Truck, TL6, Cr25,901
Hull: 45/113, Disp = 5, Config = 4USL, Armour = 1B, Loaded = 20.25 tonnes, Unloaded = 14.61 tonnes
Power: 3/6, Improved Int. Comb. = 1.6MW, Duration = 21h, Air Intake Filter
Loco: 8/16, Wheels, Max Speed = 92kph, Off-road = 27kph
Commo: Radio = Continental
Sensors: Headlights = 4, Environment Sensor, Magnetic Sensor, Radiation Sensor
Off: None
Def: Smoke Discharger
Control: Panel = Enhanced Mechanical 4, Environment = basic env
Accom: Crew = 1 (Driver), Passengers = 9
Other: Fuel = 2200l hydrocarbon, Cargo = 26.46 tonnes
The utility transport truck is a variant on the troop transport. This truck is designed to carry a 14cm howitzer and 800 rounds of ammunition and the 9 Howitzer crew. The truck, gun and crew make one artillery squad.
Craft ID: Ground Car, TL6, Cr12,091
Hull: 9/23, Disp = 1, Config = 4USL, Armour = 1B, Loaded = 5.65 tonnes, Unloaded = 4.77 tonnes
Power: 1/2, Improved Int. Comb. = 0.4MW, Duration = 9h, Air Intake Filter
Loco: 2/4, Wheels, Max Speed = 134kph, Off-road = 40kph
Commo: Radio = Distant
Sensors: Headlights = 2
Off: None
Def: None
Control: Panel = Enhanced Mechanical 2, Environment -= basic env, basic ls
Accom: Crew = 1 (Driver), Passengers = 2
Other: Fuel = 230l hydrocarbon, Cargo = 200kg
The ground car is used for civilian and military transport purposes.
Personal Weapons on Rech
Local Rech Personal Weapons
Description Ammo Rds Pen/Atten Dmg Max Range Autofire Targets Danger Space Signature Recoil Difficulty As
7mm x 37mm Light Assault Rifle Slug 30 3/2 3 Long 2 - Med Med/R Rifle
11.5mm x 23mm Revolver Slug 6 3/1 2 Med - - Med Med/R Handgun
  HE 6 1/2 3 Med - - Med Med/R Handgun
  Tranq 6 1/2 - Med - - Med Med/R Handgun
  Flech. 6 2/1 3 Med - - Med Med/R Handgun
20mm x 40mm Assault Gun Slug 5 6/4 9 V Long - - Hi Hi TL7 FC
  HE 5 1/4 11 V Long - 1.5 Hi Hi TL7 FC
  Flech. 5 3/4 12 V Long - 1.5 Hi Hi TL7 FC
14mm x 37mm Hunting Rifle Flech. 3 2/3 15 V Long - - Med Med Rifle
Ammunition
Description TL Length Volume Unloaded Weight Price Ammo Weight Ammo Price
7mm x 37mm Light Assault Rifle 7 0.9 3.5 3.7 715 1 16
11.5mm x 23mm Revolver Slug 7 0.27 1.4 1.4 174 0.3 5
HE 7 - - - - - 9
Tranq 7 - - - - - 9
Flech. 7 - - - - - 15
20mm x 40mm Assault Gun Slug 7 1.5 6 32.7 4660 2.6 77
HE 7 - - - - - 140
Flech. 7 - - - - - 328
14mm x 37mm Hunting Rifle Flech. 7 1.2 5 11 2410 0.7 35

The Rech Economy

GDP per capita is around Cr4,800, or a total annual GDP of MCr283,680. This means that Rech society is overall quite well-to-do although as with all societies there is uneven distribution of wealth.

Broadly speaking, the scientific and academic elites are tied to The Kanzler, while the land-owning class is tied to The Counsellor.

Much of the poorer population is alienated from both classes, although social improvement can come from study and entering the academic world, or attending Geselligkeit.

The military budget available is about 1% of GDP. This represents the low priority given to the military and the lack of any real conflict in Rech’s settled history.

Trade and Commerce

As an agricultural world, food, textiles, and other plant based products are the major exports. Rech also has mineral wealth, but it has not yet been exploited. There is some manufacturing industry, but this is largely an import-replacement development rather than a burgeoning export market.

Academic information is also exported.

There is some trade in obscure anthropological surveys and studies of the population. The University of Glees’ famous environmental research and development is also a resource.

The prize exports are smoked meats and leather. Rech sausage has a reputation for distinctive flavours, and is exported for use by the finest restaurants. There is even word that Duke Norris himself enjoys a Schosters Rechian sliced, fried and served with yoghurt and bread.

The most famous sausage is the Stephanie Schoster. It is available in small quantities due to high demand and domination by larger merchant shipping (see sidebar).

Trade and Commerce chart

The Trade and Commerce chart is based on the MegaTraveller Trade and Commerce variant published first on CoTI. The nature of the cargo is determined by rolling D666 on the chart (three six-sided dice are rolled consecutively, the first being the hundreds, the second the tens and the third the units).

The base price of the cargo is listed with its description resource type and special handling required—see the MegaTraveller Referee’s Manual: “Trade and Commerce” on p.46 for more details.

The variance to the MegaTraveller Referee’s Manual in having variable prices accounts for the difference between speculating in gold and in dirt, and adds flavour to the game.

Note that if Rech ATVs (see design) are rolled, the unit is actual vehicles not displacement tons. Each vehicle is 5 displacement tons to carry in a cargo hold.

Trade and Commerce Chart
D666 Trade Good Resource Cor Fla Exp Rad Per Base Cost
111 - 113 Plants – wood Natural 11+ 9+     11+ 300
114 - 121 Plants – bales Natural 11+ 9+     10+ 200
122 - 126 Plants – fibres Natural 11+ 6+     9+ 400
131 - 133 Plants – herbs Natural 11+ 6+   12+ 9+ 500
134 - 146 Food Plants (living) Natural 11+ 11+       600
151 - 154 Animals (living) Natural 11+         300
155 - 164 Livestock (living) Natural 11+         700
165 - 211 Rare Plants (living) Natural 11+ 11+       800
212 - 214 Rare Animals (living) Natural 11+         900
215 - 225 Grain Processed   6+ 4+   10+ 300
226 - 233 Vegetables Processed 11+ 9+ 12+   8+ 1200
234 - 241 Fruit Processed 11+ 10+ 12+   8+ 1000
242 - 245 Meat Processed 12+       5+ 1500
246 - 253 Herbs Processed 12+ 9+ 10+   10+ 2000
254 - 261 Plant Compounds Processed 10+ 9+ 10+   11+ 3000
262 - 265 Animal Compounds Processed 10+ 9+ 10+   11+ 3000
266 - 313 Petrochemicals Processed 10+ 7+ 8+     10000
314 - 324 Textiles Processed   9+     11+ 3000
325 - 332 Leather Processed   8+     10+ 4000
333 - 336 Polymers Processed   9+       7000
341 - 344 Fertilizers Processed 10+ 9+ 9+   9+ 4000
345 - 352 Plants – lumber Processed 12+ 6+ 12+   9+ 1000
353 - 356 Plants – paper Processed   5+     12+ 1200
361 - 361 Pharmaceuticals Manufactured 11+ 10+     9+ 100000
362 - 365 Preserved Foods Manufactured   9+     9+ 5000
366 - 412 Spices Manufactured 11+       10+ 6000
413 - 413 Gourmet Foods Manufactured 11+       10+ 8000
414 - 414 Flavored Water Manufactured 10+       12+ 1000
415 - 421 Alcoholic Beverages Manufactured 11+ 8+     9+ 10000
422 - 422 Consumable Milks Manufactured 10+       8+ 5000
423 - 423 Consumable Nectars Manufactured 10+       10+ 5000
424 - 424 Consumable Syrups Manufactured 11+       11+ 5000
425 - 425 Consumable Teas Manufactured   11+     12+ 5000
426 - 426 Exotic Fluids Manufactured   8+     9+ 5000
431 - 433 Aromatics Manufactured   10+ 9+   11+ 5000
434 - 436 Disposables Manufactured   11+       2000
441 - 443 Clothing Manufactured   12+       3000
444 - 446 Protective Gear Manufactured   9+       50000
451 - 451 Weapons Manufactured   9+ 11+     30000
452 - 452 Metal Parts Manufactured   11+       70000
453 - 453 Tools Manufactured   11+       10000
454 - 454 Rech ATVs (cost per vehicle, 5t per vehicle) Manufactured           55000
455 - 455 Appliances Manufactured   10+       10000
456 - 462 Furniture Manufactured   9+       10000
463 - 463 Building Supplies Manufactured   11+       20000
464 - 512 Writings (paper) Information   8+       1000
513 - 521 2D Still Pictures Information           2000
522 - 523 Sculpture Information           3000
524 - 525 Paintings Information           3000
526 - 531 Exotic Artforms Information           1D500
532 - 533 Audio Recordings Information           1000
534 - 615 Raw Data/Records (paper) Information           2000
616 - 616 New Natural Resources Novelty           1500
621 - 623 New Processed Resources Novelty           2000
624 - 624 New Manufactured Goods Novelty           12000
625 - 625 New Information Novelty           1000
626 - 641 Uniques Novelty           4000
642 - 643 Artifacts Novelty           7000
644 - 651 Antiques Novelty           8000
652 - 663 Original Information Novelty           5000
664 - 664 Fad Information Novelty           2000
665 - 665 Fad Manufactured Goods Novelty           5000
666 - 666 Prototype Manufactured Goods Novelty           20000

The Military

Rech maintains a military for defence of the world and as the ultimate enforcement of law.

As a world where conflict is limited because of a unified popular government, the military is small as a percentage of economic output.

The relatively low technological level combined with the low priority for military spending means that the defence of Rech would not stand up to a determined invasion by an interstellar government. But the local military is sufficient to keep the peace including resisting minor invasions. A full force list is included at the end of this module.

There is a modest nautical force of 1 Light Cruiser and 6 Destroyers. Their mission is to keep the peace in the waters surrounding Rech’s settled continent. Relative to any force likely to be applied on Rech’s waters, their firepower is overwhelming. In the event of an invasion, Rech’s military would quickly give way to a higher-tech force (TL 9+) even if it were much smaller. Rech’s military planners assume that local forces would supplement more capable Imperial or mercenary forces.

In more routine contact with interstellar life, the Rech government is concerned that they are able to repel raiding pirates and smaller mercenary units that may give trouble as well as keep the civilian population secure. Thus, within the constraints imposed by local technology, a small but well-equipped force has been formed.

However, this two-pronged mission gives rise to a military that has seen little real action.

This means that personnel are typically around 45% raw recruits, 35% regulars, 15% veterans and 5% elite quality. It is illegal to recruit to mercenary units here, and public attempts to use recruitment skill will attract attention.

In fact, the government of Rech could initially see little value in maintaining a local planetary army for many hundreds of years. The fourth frontier war, however, lead to Duke Norris of Regina negotiating directly with the local government to ensure a regular standing army.

This upped the government to spending 1% of GDP on armaments that could be manufactured locally, in return for which the Imperium helped improve small-arms technology locally. The Imperium provided technical advice on military structure and technology within local constraints, mainly as a support to any Imperial defence of the system, and able to be supplemented by mercenary forces if needed.

While not as valuable as high population worlds nearby such as Roup or Ruie, Rech is still a reasonably significant agricultural resource. The planet is a net food exporter and has academic facilities worth holding onto.

Many surrounding systems have much smaller populations and are marginally settled, whereas Rech has centuries of development if not the technological progress of other Imperial worlds.

The full military structure follows. Further, there is a scenario outlining an action that might occur on Rech.

Rech Military Organization

Note: all soldiers are equipped with Cloth Armour, a Dagger, and a Respirator Mask and a Backpack. Officers and NCOs are always additionally equipped with an 11.5mm revolver and 6 magazines of ammunition (2 x slug, 2 x HE, 2 x Flechette) plus 6 hand grenades.

Ground Forces
Unit Composition
Rifle Squad 10 soldiers each with an Assault rifle, 5 magazines of ammunition and 6 hand grenades (3 x HE, 3 x smoke)
Weapon Squad 5 teams of two. Three teams crewing Medium Machine Guns, each with five belts of ammunition. Two teams crewing Light Assault Guns each with 6 magazines.
Howitzer One 10cm Howitzer, 800 rounds of ammunition, a utility transport truck (see design), and ten soldiers (a truck driver plus crew for the Howitzer)
Command Team Two teams of three. The Commanding Officer equipped with SMG plus 5 magazines SMG ammunition, a radio man equipped with TL6 Radio (V Distant - 50k) and a revolver with 6 magazines of ammunition, and a ground car (see design) with a driver. The second team is the Senior NCO with radio man and driver / ground car.
Rifle Platoon Command Team, 3 Rifle Squads, 1 Weapon Squad, and 2 Transport Trucks.
Rifle Company Command Team and 3 Rifle Platoons
Artillery Battery Command Team, 10 Howitzers, 1 Rifle Squad, 1 Transport Truck.
Infantry Battalion Command Team, 3 Rifle Companies, 1 Artillery Battery
There are 82 Infantry Battalions. Note that all infantry battalions are motorised.
Armour Platoon 5 Tanks, 1 Transport Truck (tank commanders include one officer and one senior NCO)
Armoured Infantry Platoon Command Team (no ground cars), 3 Rifle Squads, 1 Support Squad, 8 APCs
Armoured Company Command Team (no ground cars), 1 APC, 1 Armour Platoon, 3 Armoured Infantry Platoons
Armoured Battalion Command Team (no ground cars), 1 APC, 3 Armoured Companies
There are 20 Armoured Battalions. Note that Armoured Companies integrate a tank platoon for heavy support up close, instead of artillery support as for Infantry Battalions.
Tank Company 1 Command Team in 2 Tanks, 5 Armour Platoons
Tank Battalion Command Team (no ground cars), 1 APC, 3 Tank Companies
There are 10 Tank Battalions, the ultimate strike force on the ground on Rech.
Close Orbit and Aerospace Control
Unit Composition
Flight 4 Attack Aircraft or 4 Fighter Aircraft (see designs)
Squadron 3 Flights
Wing (Air Battalion) 5 Squadrons (180 aircraft)
There are 3 Wings of Attack Aircraft and 3 Wings of Fighter Aircraft present on Rech.
Transport Aircraft 50 aircraft (see design) each capable of carrying 160 passengers and 7 tons cargo/equipment. These are used for transporting personnel as required, and are capable of lifting a whole company without their vehicles.
Security Battalions 2 Rifle Battalions are assigned to protect the Rech Airbases
Air Bases In addition to the starport facilities that have military vehicle uses, there are two air bases dedicated only to Rech COACC forces. They are protected by 15 Heavy AAA, 30 Medium AAA and 110 Light AAA each.
Nautical Force Command
Unit Composition
Light Cruiser There is one Light Cruiser (see Wet Navy Challenge Magazine article series)
Destroyers Six Destroyers make up the rest of the Rech Nautical forces. There is little cause to venture far by sea in Rech.
Security Battalions 2 Rifle Battalions are assigned to protect the Rech Nautical Bases
Nautical Bases There are two militarised ports, protected by heavy guns in addition to the rifle battalions.

Character Generation

Homeworld characteristics for Rech are: Large World, Dense Atmosphere, Wet World, Moderate Population, Extreme Law, Pre-Stellar Technological Level.

Only humans are native to Rech. Characteristics are rolled as normal. Note, however, that Rech Social Standing is used in place of Social Standing. In general, the two figures are interchangeable for natives of Rech. If a Social Standing of more than 9 is rolled, this indicates that the character is eligible for the Gatherer career (see p.33). However, Social Standing off-world is considered to be 9 if Rech Social Standing is more than 9.

All characters with a homeworld of Rech gain Survival-0. On a 2D roll of Rech Social Standing or less, the character gains Survival-1.

Characters may enter any of the military services. Flyer, Sailor and Army Service means with the local Rech army.

Characters may not take any Gun Combat skills in laser or energy weapons. Grav Vehicle may not be taken, and Wheeled or Tracked Vehicle must be taken instead. Blade Combat must be taken as Dagger or Short Blade.

Scouts, Navy and Marine service means Imperial service. In these cases, skills are not restricted by Rech as the homeworld.
Law Enforcer, Doctor, Diplomat, Bureaucrat, and Scientist careers are all local to Rech. Bureaucrats will tend to come from The Counsellor’s bureaucracy. Scientists will come from one of the eminent academic establishments discussed here, and generally will have pro-Kanzler sympathies. These careers face the same skill restrictions as the local armed forces.

Rech inhabitants may not enter the Merchant, Pirate or Belter careers.

Gatherer

The Gatherer Career

Career Progression
Enlistment (Special, see text)
Survival 3+
Position 5+
DM +2 if EDU 9+
Promotion 12+
DM +1 if INT 10+
Special Duty 6+
Re-Enlist 4+
Skills
  Personal Development Service Skills Advanced Education Advanced Education (EDU 8+)
1 Physical Gun Combat Survival Science
2 +1 DEX Hand Combat Medic Computer
3 +1 END Environment Admin History
4 Mental Wheeled or Tracked Vehicle Instruction Liaison
5 Vice Vice Steward Jack-o-Trades
6 Hand Combat Survival Leader Artisan
Table of Ranks
1 Deacon
2 Presbyter
3 Canon
4 Dean
5 Apocrisiari
6 Vice Counsellor
Mustering-Out Benefits
  Material Benefits Cash
1 Free Travel 1,000
2 Ground Car 2,000
3 Weapon 5,000
4 Rech Law Book 10,000
5 Life Tenancy 20,000
6 Rech ATV 20,000
7 Home Estate 50,000
  Characters with rank 5 or 6 may add DM +1 on this table. Max 3 rolls on this table. Characters with Gambling may add DM +1.

The Noble career is replaced with the Gatherer career. Characters who have rolled 10 or more for Social Standing may automatically enlist. Gatherers are a mix between local judge who reports to The Counsellor, pastor, community leader, and noble. They are esteemed on Rech, and their bearing has some acknowledgement off-world.

Benefits include the Rech Law Book. This is a (finely bound in the best Rech leather!) condensed version of the major, long established parts of Rech Law and also deals with Survival. After the second receipt of this benefit, Survival or Instruction skill may be taken instead of a third or subsequent copy.

Free Travel is a common benefit provided to ex-Gatherers. They may board passenger ships and airliners for free for travel across Rech for life.

The Life Tenancy is guaranteed accommodation for life in a serviced apartment in one of the major cities on Rech. These are effectively retirement homes offered to ex-Gatherers. Practically they mean free accommodation whenever a character is on Rech. The Life Tenancy does not pass into the character’s estate when they die—the property remains owned by The Counsellor as an arm of the Rech government.

A Rech ATV is the All Terrain Vehicle listed in this supplement (see p. 22). It is intended for taking Geselligkeit into the wilderness. Subsequent receipts of this benefit may be taken as Tracked Vehice or ATV skill.

The most coveted benefit is the Home Estate. This represents a substantial property of Rech land as an estate. This remains the character’s property and can be used to produce farming income. The estate will produce (on top of any retirement income) a net profit of Cr500 1D per month (roll every four weeks). It is a very well furnished estate and also provides free lavish accommodation in the form of a mansion. It represents the character becoming one of the landed gentry themselves.

The Rogue profession may be pursued, but a Social Standing of 5 or less is required to enter this profession. Rech inhabitants may not enter the Barbarian career, nor the Hunter career which is replaced by the Rech Guide career.

Guide

The Guide Career

Career Progression
Enlistment 9+
DM +1 if DEX 10+
DM +2 if STR 10+
Survival 6+ (Wilderness)
5+ (Urban)
DM +2 if END 9+ (Wilderness)
EDU 7+ (Urban)
Special Duty 6+
Re-Enlist 5+
Skills
  Personal Development Service Skills Advanced Education Advanced Education (EDU 8+)
1 Physical Gun Combat Mechanical Medical
2 +1 DEX Hand Combat Electronics Computer
3 +1 END Environment Commo Profession
4 Mental Environment Profession Economic
5 Gun Combat Profession Environment Jack-o-Trades
6 Vice Wheeled or Tracked Vehicle or Small Watercraft Instruction Academic
Mustering-Out Benefits
  Material Benefits Cash
1 Free Ship Travel 5,000
2 Weapon 5,000
3 Weapon 10,000
4 Weapon 10,0000
5 Rech Ground Car 20,000
6 Rech ATV 30,000
7   50,000

Rech Guides do not have rank, position, or promotion. They are generally loyal to The Kanzler, who wishes to promote relations with the Imperium and off-worlders. All Rech Guides must chose a profession when they start: Wilderness or Urban. Wilderness Guides receive Survival +1. Urban Guides receive Liaison 1

Rech Guides are relatively small in number. They specialise in providing escorts for offworlders around Rech. They are a combination of tourist guide, government escort, and wilderness adventurer. They also specialise in helping land-holders deal with unwanted wild life such as the Iugolo Carnitorous.

A guide must choose between Wilderness and Urban environments. A wilderness guide specialises in knowing the Rech landscape very well and is adept at battling the elements. An urban guide is skilled at dealing with the friction that can result from Rech’s conservative rural community and interstellar travellers. A Guide may change their Profession at the beginning of a new term—but must successfully roll Enlistment to change. If they fail this roll, they stay with the existing Profession.

Note that Wilderness Guides are generally from rural smaller communities themselves and tend to lean towards The Counsellor and by extension Geselligkeit. On the other hand, Urban Guides are keen to ensure off-world relationships proceed smoothly in the interest of technological development and are generally pro-Kanzler. The enlistment roll is the same for both and emphasises apparent physical prowess as Rechians are generally a conservative lot and will go for “strapping young men and women” for this kind of work.

Once a profession is chosen, Wilderness guides receive Survival skill. This can be in addition to the automatic Survival-1 that can be earned by any Rech inhabitant. Urban guides receive Liaison-1.

Whenever the cascade skill Profession is rolled, Wilderness Guides may choose from Survival, Hunting, Diving or Mountaineer. Urban guides may choose from Liaison, Carousing, Survival, Admin or Legal.

Note there are two survival rolls. The lefthand roll is for Wilderness Guides, and the right-hand roll is for Urban.

In mustering out benefits, Free Ship Travel means that the character has free passage onboard ship to travel over Rech’s oceans.

Any personal weapon up to TL7 may be taken on the first receipt of Weapon; subsequent Weapon rolls may be taken as additional weapons or skill in a weapon already received. Note that although Rech’s high law level forbids carrying of weapons, Wilderness Guides are generally exempt from this when carrying out their duties in the wild. They are partially enforcers of the law in this situation. Former Wilderness Guides are known for keeping weapons under lock-and-key and act as unofficial sheriffs in many smaller towns and villages.

The Rech Ground Car and Rech ATV are receipt of one or other of those vehicles. The full evaluations are within this module. Further receipt of these vehicles must be taken as either Wheeled Vehicle or Tracked Vehicle skill respectively.

Active Measures: Shipwreck in the River

This adventure is adapted from Journal of the Travellers’ Aid Society Issue #2, “The Ship in the Lake” by Loren Wiseman.

In the course of seeking employment at the local capital, Regina, the players are contacted by a representative of Sternmetal Horizons, LIC.

It has long been suspected that Rech contains substantial mineral wealth for exploitation. The history of Rech, however, has seen a conservative land-owning class rise to prominence on the back of agriculture, who do not wish a challenge to their way of life. However, Sternmetal sponsored a very quiet expedition to the Ahlberg Mountains. Satellite imaging suggested valuable minerals might be found there. The expedition used local transport and guides for the most part. The team apparently completed their survey and were making their way back via river transport to Alternhar. The steamer was wrecked in deep waters. The river runs through a rift caused by the two diverging continental plates that make the landmass of Berg. Sternmetal suspects the steamer was deliberately sunk as the expedition were using Guides sympathetic to the Counsellor.

The steamer has never been located. Local government is reluctant to speak about it. The Kanzler and his bureaucracy are wary of stirring up the conservative countryside represented by The Counsellor who are opposed to mineral exploitation in Rech. Sternmetal and The Kanzler wish the situation to be resolved very quietly.

Sternmetal Horizons LIC will pay MCr2 for the recovery of the lost report, or Cr100,000 for the location of the wreck of the steamer. They provide the following additional information: The Rech government wishes to expand its economy and seek the exploit mineral wealth. However, there are locals who are bitterly opposed to this development. Sternmetal suspects they are behind the sinking of the steamer and have the sympathy of some sections of the government. The Kanzler is taking steps to conceal the internal conflict in order to make Rech attractive for both tourism and mineral exploitation. Over recent years, the need for Urban and Wilderness Guides to travel with off-worlders had been relaxed. In the light of these tensions, offworlder guides have been re-introduced for everywhere except the area immediately around Alternhar. Since this capital city is a series of mini-arcologies, passage in and out of the city is easy to control through set check points.

Locally available transport includes cars, ATVs, trucks (see designs through this module), river steamers, and animals similar to Terran mules. Guides are mandatory and cost Cr100 per day. Equipment may be hired at 1% of purchase price per week.

It will be impossible to bring in weapons due to Rech’s very high law level. Sternmetal has arranged for a quantity of weapons to be smuggled on-planet (one VRF gauss gun and 2000 rounds of ammunition, plus one ACR with 300 rounds of ammunition and 10 HE RAM grenades per member of the group). A small radio direction finder keyed to an encrypted transmission is issued on acceptance of the mission to find the weapons cache. The party may retain the weapons after the mission is complete, but are responsible for getting them off-planet.

Sternmetal will describe the probable nature of the container of the report.

Referee’s Information

The players will need two Guides; both are detailed here. Franz is necessary because they will be travelling into the relative wilderness in Rech. Andreas is compulsory for assisting the players deal with the local community. Andreas is also essential for helping the players get along with Franz. Both have been broadly briefed to assist the players travelling in Rech, but neither know of the precise nature of their mission.

The wreck is located on the river flowing through The Very Big Canyon (see world map). The players must be accompanied by a guide. The steamer was sunk in about 50 metres of water where the river substantially widens. The location of the wreck is about 600km upstream from Aremburg. The weapons stash is located about 200km northeast of Aremburg in the middle of the desert. It has a radio beacon with a 5km range. So long as players follow directions, they will be able to find the stash of weapons. They will need to convince the guides to make a detour, and plan for travelling off-river if they have decided to use the river for transport.

The players’ first task will be to locate the stash of weapons. Depending on the transport organised by the players, they will need to deal with the guides who will react badly to advanced weaponry being produced. On the journey there is the possibility of animal encounters. The eventual production of weapons by the players will shock Franz to the point of leaving the party, and Andreas will need to be persuaded with a Negotiation task (see MegaTraveller Referee’s Manual p. 45) of Difficult.

Bribery is also possible, but Andreas will not be open to cash (but see character details here). He will also need assurances that the players are not out to deliberately harm the Rech community.

From the point where Franz abandons the party, he will guide Rech army elements back to the players in 1D+3 weeks. The referee should adjust the size of the returning attackers with the size of the party. An all-out attack on them is out of the question as The Kanzler would not allow off-worlders to be attacked, but on the other hand an arrest is not out of the question either. The army element will not call for backup, but Franz will get away from any attack (he is a hunter, not a soldier after all) and guide back another element in 1D weeks, and so on ad infinitum. He is calling on conservative elements who lean towards the Counsellor, but there are not many of these in the army, and hence there will not be an all-out attack.

After arriving at the reported location of the wreck, one of the following tasks must succeed:

To locate the steamer wreck manually:
Formidable, Diving, INT, 1 day (hazardous)

To locate the steamer with sensors:
Routine, Sensor Ops, INT, 1 day
Referee: Using a combination of diving equipment and sonar, metal detection or other relevant equipment, roll the second task, but use the best Sensor Ops and Diving skill, and either skill will prevent a penalty for no-skill applying. The task becomes hazardous, but only characters actually doing any diving are affected.

Once the wreck is located, the report may be recovered on success of the following task:

To recover the report from the wreck:
Difficult, Diving, INT/DEX, 1 day (hazardous)
Referee: Raise difficulty to Impossible if there is no diving equipment available.

The referee may devise a more detailed approach using a sunken deck-plan as appropriate, if desired.

If the party returns to Alternhar with the arms they will be arrested unless they have taken measures to conceal them. Some means of explaining the absence of Andreas (if he has been killed) will have to be devised before the Rech government will permit the players to leave.

It is impractical to sell the weapons on-world, although they may be cached at some place, and the radio transmitter left with the cache as before for later retrieval. Any attempt to sell the weapons will be immediately reported to a local Gatherer who will assemble sheriffs to arrest the players.

The time on Rech is of rising tensions between The Kanzler and The Counsellor. The Kanzler wishes to diversify the Rech economy including exploitation of mineral wealth and possibly tourism. The Counsellor is a conservative influence and wants the agricultural land-holding class to retain its preeminent position—even at the price of not expanding the Rech economy. The skills and equipment needed to retrieve the report from the steamer wreck exist locally. But Sternmetal feels they cannot trust Rech inhabitants with this information because of the political situation.

Bauler

This minor world in the Rech system is mainly a worthless ball of ice, and thus will not be treated in as much detail as Rech itself.

Planetary Characteristics

Bauler is a typical cold small ice-body in an outer orbit. Temperatures never get above -43, and nights are regularly cold enough to freeze oxygen and nitrogen.

The surface gravity is only 0.02G, and the planet itself is only 644km across—the total diameter is less than one map hex of Rech itself. There is no atmosphere, and only a few scattered lakes.

This unremittingly hostile cold world is the site of Rech’s interplanetary prison colony, the only life on Bauler. It is serviced irregularly by chartered merchant ships.

The People of Bauler

The prison of around 40,000 inmates and staff is housed in air-tight buildings heavily insulated against the cold. As Bauler has no atmosphere there is nothing to conduct the heat away, but insulation is necessary against heat radiating into space.
The basic environmental technology reflects the triple-layer walls used to build the prison. The outside two layers are made of thick bricks of local ice quarried from the planet. The inside walls are imported rough-hewn rock. Between the middle and inside layer is an air pocket to help trap heat inside.

Even with this insulation, the prison is harshly cold. Death rates from exposure are high. Prisoners are put to work in manufacturing consumables such as furniture or on the arduous tasks of maintaining the prison itself as a matter of survival.

As the ice-planet of Bauler is tiny, the city of Bauler covers a substantial portion of its small surface. Although there are incidental outliers to the city, it is essentially one community that is tightly regulated by the Prison Council.

Government and Law on Bauler

There are three arms to the prison government of Bauler. The supreme body is The Prison Council of Bauler who are appointed by The Counsellor on Rech. They construct the rules of the prison, which are expected to be carried out by the executive arm, which is an arm of the Rech Military. Prison guard duty is considered a wretched assignment, and the executive arm including the committee of officers and personnel defer to the Counsellor-appointed prison government.

There is one Gatherer who is the final arbiter of the law on Bauler. He also doubles as the sole spiritual adviser and counsel on Bauler, and is generally a harsh character, who sees his spiritual charges in need of stern correction before being returned to Rech society (if they survive). Corporal punishment is the norm for Bauler.

The Bauler Gatherer and the Prison Council of Bauler are both loyal to The Counsellor and rule the prison with an iron fist. Law is absolute, and prisoners have no rights. Prison guards have little more.

Customs on Bauler

Prisoners employed in maintaining the structure of the prison itself must live in field shelters outside the prison walls. These field shelters are built to withstand the harsh environment and are more or less self-securing: there is no option to run away anyway because the outside is a completely hostile environment with no air and freezing cold. The prisoners who work to maintain the walls are worked very hard and must cope with micro-gravity, bulky vacuum suits and long working hours to take advantage of the daylight before their air supply freezes solid after sunset. The Prison Council of Bauler is an especially privileged posting for those bureaucrats who serve The Counsellor. It is considered the height of loyalty to run the prison harshly and is generously rewarded within Rech system government.

All prisoners on Bauler are tattooed on their forearms with a symbol that marks them as having been sentenced to Bauler for life. This tattoo attracts social stigma on Rech, and is kept covered if the prisoner ever returns.

The harsh conditions breed close relationships among the prisoners as a matter of survival. Older prisoners benefit from younger ones physically assisting them, and the young ones in turn benefit from the experience of the ones they help. It is quite common for the older prisoners to ‘adopt’ younger ones and name them for relatives and children they remember on Rech.

The majority of staple food is grown hydroponically. The results are basically nutritious but not very appetising. What food is imported is reserved for the prison administration and then the guards. Locally grown food is generally a brown porridge-like substance, and is baked into hard biscuits, very bland in flavor and hard enough to break teeth. Prison cooks bake them into chains—“chain cake”. A superstition has arisen among prisoners about chain cakes. The cooks sometimes put food colouring in them, one day in celebration of an annual festival. However, the prisoners refused to eat the strangely-coloured food, and since then any brightly-colored batch will not be eaten. A taboo has become attached to coloured chain cake, and the cooks, in complete understanding of the tradition, sometimes play up to it by baking them coloured when they can.

Trade and Commerce

The Rech government is willing to pay normal interstellar rates for a trip out to Bauler with supplies and prisoner transfers. If a ship owner selects Bauler as destination, roll as normal for a population 4 world for freight and passengers.

The world of Bauler also exports some durables such as furniture from prison labour, and odds and ends. Freight, cargo and passengers may be rolled for as normal if the destination is Rech. Treat Bauler as Non-Industrial and Non-Agricultural for the purpose of resources.

Adventures on Bauler

The government of Rech is fairly desperate to keep the prison world of Bauler viable. Its reputation as a freezing hell-hole represents the ultimate enforcement of law.

This means that anyone with a ship will almost certainly be asked to make merchant runs there if they are looking for cargo. It also means that desperate prisoners may be “passengers” paid for by the government. This can lead to desperate approaches to escape or be taken out of system.

The weakness of using Bauler as a prison planet is that the Rech government has no Navy or system defence of any kind. They rely completely on Imperial Navy fleets for independence. This means that security on Bauler for an armed ship (even a lightly armed merchant) is truly laughable. A determined raid could easily assist in releasing prisoners.

In fact, this is precisely how pirates recruit within the Rech system. They must be careful of Imperial Naval forces showing up, but a lightening raid can provide grateful recruits, some of whom are ready to vent their anger on the planet of Rech.

This security concern provides the background as to how Rech security forces are geared—to deal with pirate commercial raids aimed at theft.

A possible military adventure might include a raid upon Bauler to gain recruits, and then train and take them onto the planet for a raid on wealth. Obviously this would be vigorously opposed by the government.