ITV Session 16: the Stowaway

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Having mustered out of the Merchant service after 16 years, 34-year old Arterhas Ralmard finds himself on planet Mylor, on the edge of known space, just where he wants to be. The frontier, where he can seek his fortune, seems more interesting than returning home, rimward, to the Anterion system, to run his parents booth at the giant space station’s market.

Art has just witnessed an attempted assassination of a noble in the Happy Gluck Tavern, at spaceport Mylor. The Baroness Galaxia Hood-Raxon, on tour of the frontier, decided to drop by a typical spaceport tavern, and only made it out alive because five “travellers” foiled the attempt on her life.

He watches as the travellers meet privately with the Baroness, and sees the gangsters the travellers had just gambled with hire some rough looking goons, obviously the ambush the travellers. As the goons leave, he follows them.

A couple of hours later, the members of SAFCO leave the Happy Gluck to return to their ship for the night. As the walk though the now-closed market, the six goons surround them and draw shotguns. A firefight ensues. SAFCO quickly dispatches most of the goons, but one steps out and holds Fardt hostage, a shotgun held to the gluck’s spherical body. There’s a shotgun blast, the goon drops, revealing Arterhas Ralmard standing in the shadows, his own shotgun in his hands.

The team notifies the authorities that there are criminals needing medical attention in the market, and meet Art, who it turns out is a great navigator looking for employment. They sign him on.

It’s a been a night of unusual violence for SAFCO, but they were acting in their own defense and the defense of others.

The next morning they take off on Zal’s expedition into the Void – the unknown – in search of Precursor secrets. 70 diameters out two imperial gunboats hail them. It seems the Baroness has disappeared, and they will board the ship so look for her. Zal talks to them, and they recognize the team as the group that saved the Baroness the night before. They let the ship go. To be on the safe side the team searches the ship. Lucky finds the Baroness in the cold berth room, dressed in a rugged cloak and outdoor gear. She announces that she’s going with them. The tour of the outer reaches was boring, and she’s lived a life of comfort and low-expectations. Her whole family, she states, has done nothing, but she will do something. Her interest in the research is real.

In his first official duties, Art uses his Nav-2 skill to plot an extremely elegant and efficient course to Zal’s System. The team is impressed. The ship reaches the jump point and with a jump flash they speed to Zal’s system, in the Void. During the week in jump space, they learn that the Baroness is highly intelligent and educated. She’s able to talk about nearly any topic that comes up. No wonder she’s been bored.

They arrive at Zal’s System and proceed to the moon of the gas giant where they first encountered the Little Reds, and where they left the Guardians. Art plots an approach to the system that will use the moon itself to shield them from the gas giant’s periodic radiation bursts. They land, spend a week refueling and maintaining the ship, and have a chance to check on  the Reds. All is well.

Their next destination is a system in which Zal believes there is a gas giant, based on his analysis of Precursor data. The team is cautious. That system is 3 parsecs away, and will require a Jump-2 and then a Jump-1, which is their maximum range. Should he be wrong, they could be stranded in the Void. They use their new Scout-class scanning system, once in space in Zal’s system, to search 2 parsecs out for gas giants they might find along the way. They find none. They make the first jump, spend another week in jump space. Scanning confirms a gas giant at their destination as they do drive maintenance in deep space. They make the final jump. Art’s navigation skills pop them out of jump space near the gas giant.All breath a sigh of relief.

They spend some time scanning the route to the gas giant, and discover they will pass very close to a  rocky size 7 planet with an apparently breathable atmosphere. They proceed. As they near the rocky planet they detect three objects on an intercept course. As they get closer the things appear to be cubes about 100 feet on a side. Roger begins evasive maneuvers.  They hail the cubes, but there is no response. They try the universal translator, still no response. They are now very close to the planet, which has a ring system with lots of big, chunky rocks and a moon. The cubes fire lasers, but miss. The Rambler returns fire with it’s two pulse laser turrets. First shot hits, damaging a cube’s maneuver drive. The cube spins into the ring system, smashes into an asteroid, destroyed. Joe suggests they use the rings as cover, makes his Tactics roll, and the teams gains a +1 on subsequent actions based on his recommendations. Roger dips into the rings. More shooting. The two remaining cubes fire, but miss again — very hard to hit a ship that Roger is flying. The Rambler fires again, blowing up one cube’s laser, and disabling the drive of the other, which is also destroyed in the rings. With the final cube defenseless, the Rambler emerges from the rings and fires, destroying it. Baroness Galaxia thinks this was all very exciting!

Safe for the moment, the team surveys the planet from space. It appears that the planet was bombarded in the distant past. Massive cratering now weathered and overgrown are detectable. They do not detect radiation. There are large bodies of water from which they could refuel.

End Session
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Elapsed game time: 216 days

 

 

Into the Void Ref’s Notes 15

Well, this was an interesting session for me. I had a conversation with on my players, David, in email after the session. There is nothing private or personal in the email, so I’m going to reproduce it here, as it contains many of my thoughts about the session and our campaign in general.

 I don’t know how much harder it is to run with 5 players., but it sure is fun!  Especially with Jeff Lee purposely trying to throw a monkey wrench into all your plans.  I was initially feeling bad for hogging the show there in the beginning.  When Jeff and William went off in the corners, I didn’t want them to feel like me and Randy were cutting them out.  I didn’t get to use my sword,  but I’m glad the other guys got to do some combat.  Williams sniper position to cover the entire bar was a good move and his one shot really turned the tide on what could have been a very bad situation.  We were expecting something, but the second assassin singer was pretty impressive if it was improvised because the first assassin went down too quickly.

And here’s my response…

Running 5 is a bit harder. I try real hard to give every player a chance to shine in each session. More players makes this harder in short sessions. It’s not like D&D at that game everyone can pretty easily do their thing, in a dungeon crawl. Or Champions, where it is mostly fightly. So it is a lot more challenging at GM.

Another thing I struggle with is not railroading the game. There is a fine line between giving plot hooks and “forcing” the PCs to do stuff. My goal is to have a game with some purpose, but not completely dictate what happens. Related to that is the fact that I want to provide atmosphere, but I don’t want to just narrate the whole thing. So for instance I tried to use the parade to provide some context for the game and the campaign, but didn’t want to just talk for 30 minutes and not let y’all do anything. So I tried to cut it short but still have it be effective.

Really, I thought it went OK yesterday. You and Randy got to do some roleplaying with the whole negotiation and card game thing, William and Jeff got to shoot someone, and Jeff Lee got to tackle the second sniper and act crazy. So everyone, I felt, was engaged. I was really wanting to engage Jeff Lee, and had expected to have him see the first assassin move and he would be the one acted on it, but the PCs were all over the bar. So I adapted since Barney was on the balcony it made sense he would see that. The second assassin  was in fact planned.  2 assassins planned — I just didn’t know which PCs would be in a position to act.  I’ll reveal more about the assassins next game. What y’all didn’t discover was that the dagger was poisoned, and the mic-stand gun shot poison darts. Make an END save or die in 2-6 minutes without medical intervention. So the possibility was there for something real bad to happen. William got off a good shot, which was lucky.

I’m trying to create good NPCs. I always think back in the old days that is something I ignored. Maybe if I’d reffed Traveller it would have been different.

Having those maps is fun. Really useful.

Anyway, my players seem to enjoy this campaign, and I enjoy running it. I think it is the best campaign I’ve ever run, using any system. In a Facebook chat with the other players, I told them they didn’t have to stick to the threads there are obviously my “planned adventures.”  They can do what they want, and I have modular stuff that can be used and woven into the fabric of the campaign. William made the comment that it is the players obligation to engage with the game world. I agree. And it is the GMs obligation to create a rich setting full of possibilities.

ITV Session 15: the Baroness

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The team lands at Spaceport Mylor in the afternoon. Lucky retrieves the Universal Translator and the Drone from the Rambler-I.  Flint heads to the portmaster office and gets receipts for the fuel they purchased when they left Mylor months ago. The team needs to settle up with Reesus Peesus and Mergatroyd, who are expecting some profit from the asteroid raid mission. They think the PCs should have gotten a lot of weapons and ammo, which of course they did, but they turned it over to RCMP for a hefty reward. They had to the Happy Gluck Tavern to look for the dirtbags, but the place is nearly empty — most people heading outside the spaceport into the main section of Mylor City for tonight’s parade to celebrate the visit by a noble — a baroness – from planet Zapata.

The team decides to attend the parade. Zal remarks that years ago at Zapata University he had a student who was a baroness. They make their way to Main Street, where a tall, shielded platform has been erected on which the Baroness will speak and start the parade. The PAs announce “Ladies and gentleman and all sophonts,  presenting Baroness Galaxia Hood-Raxon from Planet Zapata!” The crowd cheers! Having nobility visit the frontier is a big deal. The Baroness is on a tour of the frontier, to reinforce to the fringes that they are part of the Imperium.  She waves to the crowds, says a few words, and starts the parade, which goes off without a hitch.

After the parade, the team returns to the Happy Gluck. The place is filling up with drinkers and gamblers, and a band is playing on the raised stage. The group gets drinks and relaxes. Eventually they notice Reesus and Mergatroyd playing cards at table. Roger and Flint approach, and beginning bargaining with them. Flint, as former RCMP, spouts off some bureaucratic-speak about them contact the RMCP HQ to get anything they think is theirs. They aren’t having it, but Reesus offers to play Roger in a friendly game of Qburt for all the loot.

While all this was happening, three Imperial body guards enter the tavern with Baroness Galaxia. She walks about, talking to people, and finally sits at a table adjacent to the one where SAFCO is talking to Reesus. She eavesdrops and hears everything.  Lucky has hung back, Barney has gone to the raised balcony area to keep an eye on things, and Joe is trying to get on stage to sing.

The Baroness turns around, looks over the table, and says to Reesus “Perhaps you would let me play you on their behalf, Chubby.” She’s been evaluting the situation, and taken a liking to Roger and Flint (obvious men of action) and a dislike for the somewhat loathsome Reesus. Rogers says it would be an honor to have her play for them, and Reesus agrees. They play. Reesus has Gambling-3, the Baroness has Gambling-4.  They will roll 2d6 and compare the outcomes for each round, high roll winning, after applying modifiers. To win the match, a player must win three consecutive rounds. The bodyguards keep an eye on the bar as they play. Against the odds, Reesus does win (player Randy rolls for the Baroness). The Baroness concedes, and apologizes to the team for losing. Reesus then begins driving home a very hard deal with the team. Galaxia, feeling the sting of the loss, says very sternly “That seems a bit…greedy…to me, Chubby.” The bodyguards give him a hard look. Sweat beads on his forehead. He evaluates the situation and decide he would do best by not being on the bad side of the noble. He agrees to half of the initial offer, and all parties accept.

About this time four ruffians enter the bar, blades drawn, and begin talking loudly about the nobles being leeches. The bodyguards take notice and move to intercept. Roger and Lucky start moving. Flint draws his sword to defend. Barney continues monitoring the situation from the balcony.

As this happens, a “drunk” from a nearby table stands and Barney can see him draw a dagger and head toward the Baroness. Things start happening fast. The crowd goes apeshit. Barney shoots the assassin with his auto pistol. At the same time, the singer in the band on stage takes her microphone stand and raises it like a gun. Joe is close to the stage. He jumps up and makes his Brawling attack, knocking her down the stairs to the main floor, dropping the disguised weapon, but not before she is able to fire at the Baroness. Her shot misses. Barney “convinces” her to stay down. The four thugs providing the distraction run, but Lucky shoots one as he flees.

The guards communicate with some Imperials outside to catch the three goons who fled. The Baroness has SAFCO and her guards interrogate the wounded assassins in a private room.  She notes that they knew where she’d be, and that this was a “spur of the moment” stop, saying that one of her assistants suggested it. She will have him taken into custody.

Vern, owner of the Happy Gluck, thanks the team for saving his tavern from getting a bad reputation. The Baroness joins the team in a private dining room, where she agrees to help fund Zal’s expedition into the Void after he explains his research, his first expedition with SAFCO, and what he hopes to find.

End Session
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Elapsed game time: 193 days

 

ITV Session 14: Danger Beneath the Ocean Floor

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This will be a short entry, as it has been a few weeks and I have forgotten some details, and because it was, in fact, a short play session.

From the last session: The PCs are submerged in an underwater cavern on Overon, having gone there so Zal could evaluate a site of possible archaeological value. Turns out there is no real value, but Zal and the others find some larval creatures in the mud domes they find in there cavern — “larva sack” like things put there by alien manatee-like creatures — creatures that have now surrounded them from above.

The team encounters the Ilikuwee, huge, blind creatures. The teams has stumbled on the creatures’ gestation pods, mud structures containing larval sacks.  Dozens of Ilikuwee are on the way. They  surround the team, blasting one of the miners and Zal with a sonic wave. The team flees, but the creatures are much faster and cuts them off. Once away from the larva, the creatures calm down, examining the team with sonar probes, and even reaching out to touch the diving suits with finger-like appendages at the end of their flippers. Communication is impossible. Eventually the Ilikuwee peacefully allow the team to leave.

The team rises back to the surface, and return to Overon City, and report their findings to Admin. Tilton.  They collect their pay, and set off for Mylor.

They spend 1 week in jump. Upon approaching Mylor, the Rambler-II is contacted by two approaching gun boats, explaining there is a visiting member of Imperial Nobility on the world and security is increased. The gun ships escort them in. They see a massive Imperial Cruiser in orbit. They land at Spaceport Mylor.

End Session
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Elapsed game time: 192 days

SAFCOcast 10: Traveller talk and Superheroes!

In this episode we discuss our usual Traveller stuff, including some internet finds, rules we wanted to talk about from Classic Traveller, and of course start off with the SAFCO Mail Bag! This is long one, folks, but we did stay on-topic! There’s just so much cool stuff out there to discuss!

Then we talk about something a little different, Session Zero of our upcoming superhero campaign, called SuperTex, using the legendary Jeff Dee’s and Jack Herman’s The Mighty Protectors: Villains & Vigilantes 3.0 system. We’ll be playing it maybe every three sessions, and will also play it when our whole SAFCO Traveller group can’t meet.

Relevant Links:

 

SAFCOcast 9: Random Planet Generation Smackdown, Traveller session recap, etc.

 

 

In this episode we discuss two of the systems generated by listeners in our Random Planet Generation Smackdown. We had considered doing more, but we’ll do two per episode until we’re done with them. We had got some nice mailbag comments, and we’ll do a recap of the last session of our Traveller campaign, Into the Void.  And of course we’ll hit a few Internet Finds.

Relevant links

Jeff found some interesting items on the internet, and used them for inspiration for a planet and a game hook.

1. Inspiration:  Photo found on Internet of a small mining “island” at the bottom of a deep well.  Island is reminiscent of a sci-fi version of the computer game “Myst”
https://i.redd.it/94k99magyx541.jpg

Book 3 “Worlds and Adventures” (1981)
E – Frontier Installation (Marked spot on bedrock for landing)
Size: Asteroid
Thin atmosphere
20% water
0 inhabitants
No law level, no government
Abandoned outpost

2. Inspiration: Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators – Russian nuclear power sources for lighthouses, in great disrepair, but still radioactive.  Locating and transferring the cores to safety is very dangerous because of very short acceptable human exposure limits. https://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/radioactive-waste-and-spent-nuclear-fuel/2003-11-radioisotope-thermoelectric-generators
Idea for session: The power source of a long-abandoned distant monitoring outpost is desired by a salvage company.

Random Planet Generation Smackdown

Krystian in the Chaste system
Submitted by Colin Turvey
X-260620-7, De,Ni,Ri,N

Orbits a class K5 star in its first orbit remarkably despite being a desert world it’s not just inhabited but bears a population in excess of 60 million mostly Belters as it’s a low gravity world with only one asteroid belt orbiting between it and it’s system’s sun.

It does have 3 gas giants it’s widely thought the massive amounts of oxygen permeating the system is the reason why Krystian remains inhabitable.

It was originally a prison colony particularly for political types despite the conditions the inhabitants and others continue to live here as a mark of defiance at their former oppressors.

The Naval base originally intended to prevent escapes now watches protectively over them such is the change of fortunes they have overcome.

Update:

Found a system generator the Chaste system now has a K5 type star with 8 orbits.

  • Asteroid belt the main source of the Belters pay.
  • Krystian
  • Gas Giant
  • Ember
  • Gas Giant#2
  • Leone
  • Space Station (Naval base)
  •  Gas Giant#3

Literally the molten remains of a much larger world the only residents live aboard the refinery station that orbits this dwarf planet as it literally has no solid landmass!

A Research base is also located aboard and is largely focused on discovering what happened to the Chaste system.

Aegle
Submitted by Ted Hale
C 454 227 9

Aegle was originally colonized by forced resettlement.  The colonists were families belonging to the “Salvation Tears” religion.   The organization’s rapid growth, and popular appeal was perceived to be a threat to several surrounding world governments.  The religion was designated a cult.

Aegle, an unpleasant hot world with a thin, toxic atmosphere, was also a world rich in unexploited bitumen and other petrochemicals.  Ling Petrochem saw an opportunity to fulfill a long unmet need for affordable labor on Aegle. The Subsector Duke and surrounding world governments wanted a politically acceptable means to rid themselves of the cultists.  A deal was struck between the Subsector Duke, Ling Petrochem, and the various world governments concerned. The cultists were rounded up and deported to Aegle.

Once settled, the colony went through a period of rapid, and sometimes violent, change in government form.  Theocracies gave way to autocracies, then dictatorships both popular and unpopular. Civil wars and bloody upheavals  left the remaining Aegle colonists with a disdain for violence and authority. The Aegle Colonists currently employ an informal participating democracy to govern themselves.  Their laws strictly prohibit firearms and violence. Spears are the most common form of weapon and are regarded as protection from local fauna, rather than from their fellow colonist.

Two generations later, the population of Aegle has dwindled.  Young people eschew the faith of their grandparents and yearn for easier lives.  Economic, academic, and social opportunities are quite limited on Aegle. Most Aeglians cannot afford passage out of the Aegle system.  It is widely held hat this is by design to benefit Ling Petrochem.

Aegle’s starport is little more than a Ling depot for the interstellar transport of Aegle’s petrochem commodities.  Ling and Aegle’s population are aware that the starport is a nexus for both human and illicit drug trafficking, but Ling Petrochem has not been inclined to address the problem, and Aegle’s government is ill equipped to stop it.

 

 

 

Into the Void Ref’s Notes 12

Atlas class freighter from Independence Games (link)

Session 12 was short and challenging to come up with and run. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how best to bring an “occasional” player character into the game for one session and make it feel organic. I’ve decided this coming year to have two or three guest players for sessions, and toward the end of the year bring everyone together for a big blowout. I can’t really deal with more than four regular players — it all just gets too complicated, and it is harder to get everyone together. BUT, having some guest players is a good thing.

So, our guest player was running the character Reginald Stormbringer, an ex-army badass. I spent a week making notes of game ideas and not liking any of them. Since it was a guest player session, it needed to be kind of a one-shot. It needed to have some action. BUT – I also wanted this game to set up a return to the unknown of the Void.  So I decided to put their old friend Zal Twist, the Exo-archaeologist, in harms way onboard a hijacked freighter, and have him meet Reggie onboard.

The trick to this session, and the mentally exhausting part, was keeping the flow moving with Reggie on the freighter and the players on the planet, whilst moving them toward a meeting point. It wall worked out, we got them all together, they saved Zal and the rest of the ship (though the freighter crew was all dead), and had a pretty good game.

A few notes:

  • Reggie got hit once by a submachine gun. They really hurt. Nearly took him out. Lesson learned, I think. Don’t get shot.
  • I think non-combat skills are really fun, and very necessary, in my game. They might be more helpful, in fact. On populated worlds it helps if each player has some kind of social skill. Gambling, carousing, admin, streetwise, bribery, whatever. Gives them some nice options.
  • I need to encourage my players to really explore crazy options that make use of all their skills. I had Flint make a Tactics roll and gave him some suggestions that resulted in Barney using his Vacc Suit skill to gain them access to the freighter.
  • It was fun to bring the Fast drug into this game, and to use Basic (the nutrient drink from the Dumarest novels) to revive Reggie after cold sleep.
  • Most of my players are long-time veterans of D&D and Champions. They are very much used to knowing their character sheets really well, and knowing how to use their skills and spells to greatest effect. I think because the Traveller PCs are so simple looking on the surface my players are not sure how to really take advantage of their skills and gear. They are still doing well, but I think they might have more fun if they were a bit more familiar with their characters and gear. I’ll help them develop this by putting them in difficult situations and let ’em depend on their own creativity to resolve things.
  • I still need to start bringing the character histories into the game more.

ITV Session 12: Space Rescue

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The freighter Star Slinger arrives in the Overon system, popping out of jump space 124 planetary diameters from the RCMP base planet. The ship, an Atlas class freighter carries mining equipment and supplies for the colony on Overon, but one of its massive cargo pods contains a special cargo – 120 religious colonists travelling Low on the way to the Void. Emerging from his cold sleep coffin, Lt. Col. Reginald “Reggie” Stormbringer takes a warm cup of Basic from the attending medic and surveys his surroundings. Still a bit disoriented from months in hibernation, the nutrient rich Basic quickly restores his strength. Reggies wonders where his gear might be.

On Overon, the members of SAFCO confer about their next course of action. They have salvaged a valuable starship power plant and dual pulse laser turret, and need to find a buyer. Research turns up the name Percius Pringle, a trader in starship salvage who operates a big operation on Overon. They seek Percy out, finding a chubby man with a ruby pinky ring. Percy accompanies them back to the ship to look at the merchandise. He offers them a choice, 500K for the power plant and 75K for the turret, OR beat him at a game of chance called Quirkle and get twice that much. LOSE, and he gets the salvage for free. Knowing that Percy has a reputation as a good gambler, Flint and Lucky opt for the first offer, and the team is 575K cr richer.  While at the ship, they recieve an x-boat relay transmission from their old friend Zal Twist, who says he is returning to the frontier aboard a freighter called the Star Slinger, and should be arriving in the Overon system at any time. Discovering that the ship is in-system on on a course for Overon, the team sends him a greeting.

Atlas class freighter.

Back on the Star Slinger, Reggie watches as the cult leader, known as Micah, addresses his flock. He invites Reggie to join them on their journey to Paradise. Reggie declines. Micah then invites an tall, skinny old bearded man, who also declines. Later, the old man introduces himself as scientist Zal Twist. Reggie and Zal get to know each other a bit. Some time passes, and Reggie hears the unmistakable sound of gunfire in the corridor outside the cargo pod. He has none of his gear. No weapons. 10 goons come into the cargo pod full of peaceful cultists, armed with submachine guns. They order everyone to their knees. Reggie and Zal decide to comply, and bide their time. They have no idea what the intention of the aggression is. The pirates demand that Micah show himself. After a little coaxing, Micah identifies himself. He is removed from the cargo pod and taken elsewhere. Everyone else is kept there under guard.

On Overon, SAFCO is aboard their Type A Merchant ship, and receive a distress call from the freighter Star Slinger, saying they have been boarded by pirates. The team is concerned because Zal is on board that vessel. Flint contacts RCMP administrator Tilton, and finds out there was a coordinated distraction far on the other side of the system, which drew the RCMP system defense boats very far away. If there is going to be a fast rescue, it will be up to SAFCO. Tilton assigns five company marines in combat armor to accompany the team and they take off, working on a plan during the 1-hour flight to rendezvous with the freighter.

Back on the Star Slinger, the pirates decide to move all the hostages to another cargo pod where still more passengers from the many low berths are being kept. As they step into the corridor, Zal falls and cries out that he’s broken his leg. The guard comes over and sticks his gun in the old man’s face. Reggie takes advantage of the situation, makes his Brawling roll, takes the gun and chokes the goon out. The other guards can’t get to him because of the panicking cultists in between them. “Can you walk?” Reggie asks Zal. “Of course my dear boy, I’m not injured! It was a clever ruse to give you opportunity to attack!” Reggie uses the goon’s body as a human shield, and backs up toward a bulkhead, Zal behind him. They open the bulkhead step through, and close it up tight. They see an iris valve portal in the ceiling of the lower deck, with a ladder leading up. They decide to go that way.

Knowing that the Star Slinger has a ships boat docked to its dorsal side, and that the merchant ship could use that docking spot, SAFCO approaches the freighter and is surprised to not come under fire. Barney and Lucky use vac suits to go over to the ships boat. Barney manages to use his ships engineering skill to manually release the docking ring. A blast of air pushes the ships boat away from the freighter as the clamps release. Roger makes his pilot roll and docks the merchant to the freighter.

Reggie and Zal pop up on the upper deck of the freighter only to see at least two more pirates with SMGs down the corridor. Reggie fires as does the first of the goons. Reggie misses, but the goon hits, the shot rendering Reggie unconscious. Zal grabs the autopistol Reggie took from the first guard and tries unsuccessfully to shoot the pirate. Reggies is going in and out of consciousness, and here’s Zal exclaim “that sounds like a ship docking!”.

The five armored marines drop into the freighter and split up, two going to the right and two going with Flint to the left. The ones going right encounter Zal, the unconscious Reggies, and the pirates. One takes care of Zal and Reggie, while the others easily defeat the other pirates. The marines are able to easily mop up the rest of the pirates. Reggie is taken to the ships sick bay and patched up, and given a dose of medical Fast to speed his recovery. The team searches the freighter, and discover that the pirates had hidden themselves in some shipping containers and taken Slow so that the jump would seem like only hours to them. When they came off the drug, the knew their accomplices would have drawn the RCMP security forces far away. There goal: they knew that Micah is from a very wealthy family, and they were trying to get him to pay them off to let him and the cultists go.

In appreciation, Micah gives Reggie the cost of three high passages. He offers to pay for some upgrades to SAFCO’s ship.

We end the session with the team still on board the freighter, reunited with Zal, deciding what to do as the freighter continues to Overon. Reggie will spend some time on Overon and see what opportunities present themselves.  Work with SAFCO? Perhaps. Zal likes him. The ships boat will be retrieved.

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1 day elapsed in this session
180 total game days elapsed.

 

 

 

ITV Session 11: Escape from Uetonah

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SAFCO is still on Ueotonah, started where we left off last game. The rebels have, with the help of SAFCO, defeated Samson Mining’s defence forces, but now find their location compromised. They will have to move to one of the other base locations they have scouted out. The rebels quickly begin evacuating the wrecked ship. SAFCO evaluates the ship for salvageable components. The rebels will be taking one large piece of equipment — and autoDoc with its own power source. SAFCO looks over the ship, and Barney determines that not only could they use some of the grav-pallets and tools to salvage the working dual pulse laser turret from the wreck, but also the ship’s power plant, worth several million credits even after decades on the ground. The Jump drive is likewise salvageable, but too big for the limited cargo space in the team’s modified Freetrader. Since they have discovered their original mission on the planet was based on a lie, salvaging these ship components will make the trip and the danger worthwhile.

Barney radios Fardt, back on the ship, gives him the coordinates, and tells him to prepare the ship to come get the crew and the gear upon notification.

The team spends the rest of the day removing the turret and power plant components and prepares them for travel. They go over options for their next destination.They have fuel for one Jump-2, which can get them back to Overon, coreward to the unnamed system they passed through weeks ago for gas giant refueling, or rimward to AT201, an orbital shipyard orbiting a rocky moon of a gas giant. They decide they’ll return to Overon where Flint can report to his contacts in RCMP of the status of the mining on Uetonah, tell Nora Slimjack the status of her son, and get them back toward the frontier and the Void. They can also try to sell their salvage there.

Barney radios Fardt to bring the ship. The novice pilot makes roll the get the ship off the ground. At in-astmosphere starship speeds it will not take Fardt long to get there.

As they wait Fardt calls on the radio. He sounds panicked. “Guys, we’ve got trouble. They tried to close the bay doors so I blasted through them, and now there are three security speeders chasing me and shooting!”. The team can hear the chaos. The security speeders are faster than the ship and very maneuverable, but Fardt had a head start. The team knows the direction they’ll be coming from. They decide to have Fardt slow down enough when he reaches they for the team to ride their grav bikes right into the cargo bay and join the fight.

Flint uses his binoculars and can see the ship approaching as well as the pursuers firing lasers. Fardt’s flying is so erratic they have not managed, from long range, to hit the ship. But they are closing. The team gets on the bikes and they leave the ground. Flint calmly uses the electronic site on his rifle to take aim on one of the speeders. He fires and hits it, blasting a hole in the cockpit windshield.

Fardt gets to the team slows down, and they fly into the cargo bay. Flint stops and takes one more shot before flying into the bay. Again he sights-in on the cockfit, fires, hits the pilot, and the speeder goes down!

Roger takes the controls and activates the automatic turret, Barney heads to the engine room, and Lucky goes to man one of the turrets. Ronda, Fardt, and the robot strap in. Flint stays by the cargo door, hoping to score another sniper shot with his rifle if one of the speeders comes into view.

The ship enters the dogfight with the two speeders (We use Cepheus Light dogfight rules). The speeders have little armor and will likely blow up with one laser strike, but they are fast and very hard to hit. Roger activates the Manuver/Evade-2 program to enhance his pilot skills and Predict-2 to assist Lucky with the laser turret.

After two rounds of combat the team has missed the speeders with each shot. The speeders, meanwhile, have scored hits on the ships power plant and computer, reducing the performance of each. Finally they score a hit, blowing up one of the speeders, showering the jungle below with debris. Having lost his two partners, speeder pilot 3 decides to break off pursuit and get out of there. The team pursues, blowing him from the sky as well.

With no pursuers, SAFCO finds a place to hide on the planetary surface and attempt repairs to the ship. Barney is able to effect repairs to the power plant, using parts from the salvaged power plant, to return it to its Power Plant-B status long enough to get them to Overon. Lucky, with Barney consulting, is able to repair the computer.

Now the question — how to leave the planet? There are likely some system defense boats in the system. Best not to meet up with them. The planet has one moon. They consider their options, and decide to try using a carefully plotted trajectory out of the system, using that moon to hide their exit from the planet. The GM makes a secret Nav roll for Roger to determine how good the course is. Barney makes an engineering roll, and manages to boost the maneuver drive up one level for the time it takes the ship to get to the Jump point. The man is a miracle worker! Turns out their plan and course is good! They are able to exit the system to the minimum Jump distance without detection.

The ship reaches the jump point, and a course for Overon is layed-in. No mis-jump. The team spends a week in Jump Space. They arrive in the Overon system.

Flint reports on Samson Mining to his RCMP contact R. Tilton. Roger finds Nora Slimjack at the Mooch Mine and tells her that Jason is fine, and apparently on Uetonah of his own free will. Flint gets the name of a trader on Overon with whom to try to sell the salvaged turret and power plant. The team gathers for relaxation at the Mooch Mine. All is well…for now.

End of Session.

IY6026.115
7 days elapsed in this session
179 total game days elapsed.

What’s Up?

October has been pretty busy. We had to cancel our Traveller game last weekend and reschedule for this coming weekend, the first weekend in November. Such is life. I don’t like cancelling, but it was my fault! Had too much to do and not enough time, as usual.

I did manage to read three science fiction novels during October, which is always good inspiration for Traveller games and podcast topics. I read a Robert Silverberg novel called “the Man in the Maze” and two Dumarest of Terra novels. Nice and short. Good adventures, and fodder for Traveller sessions no doubt.

I did get the new Traveller 5 hardback books in the mail! I participated in the Kickstarter, and Marc Miller sure did deliver. The books are very nice, and at first scanning seem to be well organized. I’m sure there are some typos and omissions, but as Marc explained in his session at Lone Star Game Expo, this set is a toolbox. It is massive, but contains all the stuff you need and all that you MIGHT want. Kind of like taking all the old supplements and putting them in one set. I’m very happy with the quality. Not sure when I might use them. I’m very happy with the current campaign and don’t really want to go back and change things to T5.  But for a future campaign I might.

I’ve looked over a number of science fiction RPGs lately. Most are very setting-specific. Honestly, most are kind of dumb. They look like the could be fun, but they don’t look sophisticated like Traveller.