FASA, which would later go on to do stuff like the Star Trek RPG and Shadowrun, got its start producing third party material for Traveller. Ordeal by Eshaar (1981) is an adventure set during the Fifth Frontier War, in which the players travel to an extremely hostile planet (hot and toxic) where Imperial and Zhodani interests are competing for mineral rights important to the war efforts on both sides. Both have embassies on a Scout Service dome on the planet (as do the Vargr). Players get to participate in the wrangling of the diplomats, then safeguard an imperial survey mission, which the Zhodani sabotage. That leaves the Imperials in poor standing with the natives, who demand the survey team participate in an Ordeal (essentially, a long, purifying survival run through the planet’s hostile environment) to atone. It’s pretty good and it feels pretty much like a GDW Traveller product!

And it should be, because it is written by the Keith brothers (J. Andrew and William), who had previously written material on contract for GDW. J. Andrew wrote so much for the Journal of the Travellers’ Aid Society that he used two pseudonyms so it didn’t look so obvious he was writing everything. The brothers were prolific freelancers, so when FASA started producing Traveller material, they were right there, writing most of it.

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