Into the Void Ref’s Notes Session 24

Well, the PCs have only been back on their home base planet of Mylor for a few hours before they are back in the middle of it again!

Oh, before I forget, this was our first session back in Meat Space in over two years. We played in person.

So, so fun. I wasn’t sure how to start this session(s) when I began thinking about it a couple of weeks ago. They are back in civilized space. Back to their old watering hole the Happy Gluck. Back to old associates, frenemies, and complications. So I started this with a simple title for the session “One Night at the Happy Gluck.” Who doesn’t like a game where a relaxing night at the tavern turns to chaos?

So I came up with some ideas of ways to involve their existing friends and associates at the star port, what could have gone wrong during their absence, and some new NPCs.  One goal, after 9 sessions (taking several months to play) in uncharted space was to reintroduce the players to the NPCs in the game.  As you will see if you read the writeup, they are going to try to rescue the guy who tried to have them killed nine games back. Which is awesome! I love it. Complex relationships in an RPG.  To me, well, this is a huge success for me as the Referee. I am delighted.

We were able to use some of the PC’s more social skills. They of course used tactics even in the tavern, and everyone seemed fully engaged.

I think we are all getting better at this game. I have stated before in numerous places that now, 4.5 years into our campaign and now 24 sessions in, my players are just now really getting the groove of Traveller. Well, that isn’t entirely correct. They have always played the game very well. I guess what I sense is the buildup of the in-game history and lore of their campaign. I’ve run a lot of RPG campaigns in my life, but I don’t think any have reached this level of complexity or been this satisfying. My players of course love it when action happens, but they are equally engaged when they are roleplaying, scheming, negotiating, threatening, sneaking, or investigating.

I think that when everyone is really used to the idea of not leveling up all the time, and not worrying about experience points, the game can unfold in a very natural way.

When new players start with Traveller, I suspect that many are shocked and disappointed by the limits placed on them. No FTL communication. Space travel is expensive and takes a long time. You don’t hop in your ship and get to the other side of the galaxy in 2 hours. You probably use slug throwers for guns, and bladed weapons too. Ship combat is very expensive even if you win, and very prone to getting you killed. While psionics may exist, you probably don’t have that talent. You have to worry about money. AND — you are a fairly typical person. Oh, you ARE a Traveller, and thus more accomplished than trillions who never leave their homeworld, but you are mortal. You will never become that hard to kill.  The list goes on.

All of this kind of flies in the face of science fantasy and a lot of science fiction. Because we are talking about limits, and I think it is the limits in Traveller that make the game challenging and fun.

I’m glad I have a group of friends who can enjoy all this.

Anyway, this session was the opening of yet another adventure for Super Adventure Friends Co.  We are back to our original core group of 3 ex-Scouts and 1 former Army colonel. Four players is very manageable. We’ll certainly play online from time to time and I can get our member in Virginia back involved, and our other regular local member of our gaming group can play whenever he wants (with a little prior notice). It’s all going well.

ITV Session 24: One Night at the Happy Gluck

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Recap:

Last session the team made it back to Mylor. The Baroness smoothed things over with the authorities. Zal went to the hospital. The Baroness makes arrangements for the Precursor pod and the android body to be sent to the University of Zapata.

The team has met with the head administrator of the Scout base, Billy Zoom, to pass on information they collected on the expedition. Zoom informs them that Roger’s scout ship, the Rambler I, was pressed back into service. He gives them 5 grav bikes to compensate Roger for the loss of the ship. He also informs them that over the last couple of months (their absence), there seems to be some turf wars going on in the Mylor underworld.

The groups goes to the Happy Gluck to celebrate survival and a successful expedition.

Today’s session:

Entering the Happy Gluck, the group finds it busy. They order drinks, and find out from their friend Vern, the owner, that business has been tough. His “taxes” have increased. He isn’t sure who is responsible, but clearly the normal protection money he pays suddenly wasn’t enough. Making his streetwise roll, Fardt notices that the 7-foot tall, 4-eyed, purple Rax fixer known as Mergatroyd is currently playing Collider at one of the gaming tables, and losing. There’s a lucky person playing. Fardt does not see Reesus Peesus, which is unusual on a busy night. The group decides to make contact with Mergatroyd to find out what’s up and hopefully make peace with him and Reesus (Reesus tried to have them killed a couple of months ago).  The group casually approaches the table. Barney takes up a vantage point up some stairs. He can see that one pair of Mergatroyd’s eyes is focused on the game, while the other has tracked some of the team. He is aware of their presence.

Lucky observes the Collider game. No one is as lucky as the guy who is winning, but Lucky can’t see that he’s cheating. Knowing how the machine works, he makes his Gambling roll (with a positive modifier for this Electronics skill) and surmises that someone near the table has a magnetic device that is affecting the trajectory of the subatomic particles in the game table. He whispers this to Fardt. The gluck tells Vern. Mergatroyd is playing it cool. A bouncer comes up to the table and starts using a detection device, finally pointing it at bystander and yelling “CHEATER!”. The place erupts. The one guy runs toward the door to the bar. The guy who was actually playing the game gets up and tries to run, but Roger tackles him. From his perch, Barney fires a warning shot at the running guy. He makes a morale check, succeeding, and rather than dropping to the floor he continues out the door. A rough looking guy whispers to Flint during the commotion that “Mergatroyd want to see you in the room behind the bar.”  Before everything settles down, the team uses the commotion as a distraction to go unnoticed to the back room. Mergatroyd follows them.  Barney remains at his lookout perch.

Mergatroyd is relieved to see the group. He harbors them no ill will. He tells them that Reesus has been missing for a number of weeks, and that it is affecting his business. Though Reesus is gone, the illegal arms are still apparently flowing through the sector and through Mylor, so he things Reesus is still alive. He says a local crime boss called Lomax has died, and apparently his son, Lomax Jr., is trying to take over his turf, and expand into the space port. This is the cause of Vern’s problems, and is generally destabilizing things. He suggests that they will all prosper if SAFCO can find and rescue Reesus, and most likely kill Lomax Jr or at least drive him out of the space port. Reesus being a “pillar of the community”.

SAFCO agrees that while they’ve had disagreements, association with Reesus has been profitable for them and of course this is their home and they don’t want things going badly. They agree to help.

As this has been going on, a green orion dancing girl has been chatting up Barney. Barney, ever suspicious, has gotten her drunk. She doesn’t seem to know much, but suddenly decides to leave. Barney gets up and follows her out.

Inside the tavern, Fardt makes his streetwise skill. He tells the team that a nondescript woman took notice when the green woman and  Barney leave the bar. As they start toward her, she gets up and leave the bar, starting to walk down the sidewalk. Lucky and Flint apprehend her. She is causing a stir on the sidewalk. A Law Level roll is made, and no police are attracted. They take an autopistol from her, and take her back into the Happy Gluck, and into the back room where they start to question her.

She is uncooperative until Mergatroyd threatens to cut one of her eyes out with his dagger. She caves. She is working for Lomax, and sent the green dancer to chat up Barney and see what she could learn. Then the “good cops” (SAFCO) offer to pay her more to switch sides. Realizing she has blown it – that Lomax will kill her if he finds out she has given up his name — she agrees. They will pay her 3000 credits a week, and she will tell them where Lomax Jr. is. Hopefully they’ll find Reesus. She wants them to kill Lomax Jr., so she can carry on without fear of reprisal.

End of session.

IY6026.253
Elapsed time: 379 game days

 

 

Advise for new Traveller or Cepheus Engine Players

I try to stay away from “advise” posts on all my blogs. I don’t like to give the impression I am some sort of authority figure in hobbies and interests of mine.  Given that I have a podcast about Traveller that may seem like a crazy statement, but Jeff and I try to make the podcast about the game, and not about ourselves. The podcast, for us and hopefully our listeners, is an exploration of Traveller, not people pretending to be gurus.

That being said, here is some advise, but it is advise to listen to other people.

Traveller is a really different kind of RPG. It always has been. For that reason I think new players sometimes struggle to figure out how to run the game and to play it.

OK – here’s the advise. Do the following two things…

  • The Behind the Claw podcast, by Felbrigg Napoleon Harriot, is a must-listen. The episodes are relatively short. They explore Classic Traveller in a number of useful ways. From generation of planetary systems and explaining them, to creation of interesting NPCs, to discussions of the “bigness” of skills in Classic Traveller, each of the 33 episodes is worth listening to at least once a year. Yes, it is that good. Well produced, thought-provoking, and insightful. And fun listen to! And like all podcasts worth hearing, Felbrigg makes it about the GAME — not himself.When I began my Classic Traveller campaign,  Behind the Claw was very inspiring to me. It made a difference. Thank you for that, Felbrigg.
  • Read Agent of the Imperium, by Traveller creator Marc Miller. You can listen to it as well. I recommend reading it, then listening to it, then listen to it a few more times because there is a lot there! As you might expect, Marc immediately immerses you in the universe of Traveller and the Third Imperium. This is not a book about a band of adventurers, but rather about a high-level operative who is essentially an implantable personality. He operates in the Imperium over the course of many centuries, dealing with potentially disastrous situations. In the process of telling this tale, Marc takes you on a deep dive into Traveller. It all makes sense. It is fascinating.  I read a review of the audiobook saying the narrator sounds like a computer voice generator. Well — duh — he kind of does and it’s clearly intentional as the protagonist is essentially and AI. Don’t let that bother you when you listen. I assure you, the first “problem” the Agent has to deal with with blow you away.

 

ITV Session 23: The God Killers

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SAFCO begins where they left off, on the Precursor world in the Great Nebula of the Void. Having defeated the alien android possessed by the being inhabiting the Universal Translator, the team decides what to do.

Professor Zal Twist is stabilized in the ship’s autodoc. The Baroness insists that before leaving they attempt to at least take a sample of the withered Precursor bodies in the pods. Barney examines the alien technology, consults with Lucky, and makes a very difficult roll, successfully figuring out how to power-down a pod. He examines the power cable, and after very careful description of what he is doing, confirms there is no power in the cable. He cuts it.

Meanwhile, Flint has brought a lift from the cargo hold of the ship. They manage to lift one of the pods and take it to the ship. Flint brings the body of the alien android. Lucky discovers that while the brain and the Universal Translator are destroyed, the body does still have some charge left it its battery. They remove the destroyed UT and secure it.

Their business here complete, they take off. Once back in space they jump to one of the systems they had previously scanned containing a gas giant. In an effort to cut some time off their return trip to Mylor they do some additional scanning but discover no systems with refueling points. They proceed back to system 2, home of the planet-wide sentient psionic fungal network. They avoid the planet and refuel at a gas giant. They then jump back to Zal’s System, refuel, and return to Mylor. Five weeks travel time.

The Baroness talks to authorities once in orbit smoothing things over for SAFCO, who were wanted for her abduction in the subsector. She explains she stowed away.  All is well.

The team decides, after getting the fairly recovered Zal Twist to the hospital, to go inform the Scouts of the very serious threats to the Imperium lurking just a few parsecs away in the Void. In particular, the Fungal Network. Administrator Billy Zoom is glad to get the information. The Scouts have been preparing to survey that area, and this will keep them out of danger. The fungal planet will be interdicted immediately until the Imperial Quarantine Bureau decides how to handle that threat. Zoom tells that that a freighter full of religious cultist had recently left Mylor in the direction of the Nebula. Should they go to that world it would be an immediate danger, so their ship will be found and stopped. Or destroyed if necessary.

Zoom tells Roger that, sadly, the base recently lost a Scout crew and ship, so the ship that Roger mustered out with — the Rambler — has been pressed back into service. To compensate Roger, Zoom offers the team five IISS grav bikes that are about to be decommissioned as newer models have arrived. Rogers takes the deal.

Roger asks Zoom what else has happened during the months they’ve been gone. Zoom tells him that the local underworld on Mylor is rumored to be in somewhat a state of chaos. Turf wars are breaking out, confusion in leadership…

The team has earned the 100K credits from Zal and the University of Zapata for their help in the expedition. The Baroness arranges for the Precursor pod and the android body to be taken to the University of Zapata. One of the greatest archaeological finds in centuries — funded by her family. Her status should increase in the circles of nobility.  Zal will go down in history.

The team heads toward the Happy Gluck to relax and celebrate survival of yet another expedition into the unknown of the Void.

Ending date: IY6026.253
Elapsed game time: 379 days

Non-Spoiler Review: Apotheosis, by Michael Brown

Over the last several years of running a Classic Traveller campaign I’ve purchased many of the one-page PDF adventures written “for 2D6 games such as Cepheus Engine and the Original Science Fiction Roleplaying Game” by Michael Brown. While I’ve not run any of them (I simply have not fit them into my game yet), I enjoy reading Michael’s creativity. Mr. Brown can get more adventure into one compact page than almost anyone, with creative scenarios and game hooks. He gives the GM all that’s needed to run a session or two without, as he has told me “stepping on the GM’s toes.”

Last week I decided to see what Michael could do in 16 pages. I ordered his adventure Apotheosis from Drive Thru RPG in both PDF and hard copy. The hard copy came in today, and I spent an hour reading it.

First a few comments about the book’s quality and layout. It is printed in what I’d call “zine size” 6″ x 9″. A little bigger than a folded in half letter size paper — not sure what this size is actually called. The cover is essentially a nice quality card stock with glossy exterior (again, I am not a publishing guy, so not sure what the exact terms are). Considering I paid on $6.49 for the hard copy/pdf set, I think the quality is really nice.

Apotheosis, by Michael Brown.

The actual adventure content is 16 pages, plus about 8 pages (front and back) of cover page, Open Gaming License, info, etc. The interior is printed on fairly nice paper, and the spine appears to be glued. I think the spine will actually last, as at about 24 total interior pages it isn’t heavy. One thing I like about this book is that it is small enough and light enough it was easy to handle, which not only makes it easier to read but probably easier to use during a gaming session.

The layout of this book is very nice. Simple black type on simple white pages, layed out simply. A font big enough for me to read without glasses.

The adventure is organized logically. It flows when you read it. Michael starts you with a plot overview, explains how to get your group into the adventure, gives you enough detail to run the adventure, lots of rumors the PCs might hear, motivations of the NPCs, etc. There is no art, but there is one map. I’ve found in some recent purchases that art is not always a bonus. Often it is poorly integrated into a rulebook or adventure, obscuring text and causing other problems. Not the case here. Again, Michael gives you what you need. Do you just have to have a map of a building or whatever? Just draw one. Or find a free one on the internet. You know your team’s going to probably destroy that building anyway, right?

Now, I said the adventure is layed out logically, but it is not designed to railroad your PCs through a linear path. This thing could go a lot of different ways, and Michael give you plenty of ideas as options.

Man, it is hard to do this without dropping spoilers. Ugh.

So, we have a nice little book, well organized content, a great mission on an interesting planet, and plenty of detail to allow you, the GM, to run a fun session or two. I think that it’s just the right length that I will not have any trouble finding things in it. Ever gotten an adventure that is so long, convoluted, and poorly organized that you can’t find some simple thing, like what kind of weapon an important NPC has, or something like that? I have. It sucks. Hell, you can spend five minutes looking for something, then just give up and make something up. That won’t happen with this adventure. It is all right there, easy to read, easy to use. Plenty to work with.

One last thing I wan to say. Michael Brown ALWAYS gives a reason for the PCs to be involved that makes sense when viewed in the light of the question “why wouldn’t the authorities be handling this?” That make a difference to me. I like things to make sense, so I appreciate this detail.

Even if you never play this adventure I would recommend it as an example of excellent adventure design.

That’s all. Now to play Traveller or Cepheus Engine!

 

Into the Void Ref’s Notes Session 22

Well, Session 22 was a lot of fun. I think my players had a good time.

As always, I feel like I could have been a bit more descriptive with the settings and all, but I’ll give myself a break. When you are GMing there’s a lot to keep track of.

So this game was intended to be the likely culmination of a story seed I planted in session 5, about 4 years ago. Yes, I sat on it that long. I say “intended” because while I had it set up, you can’t control what players do, and I was not going to force it. But it all worked out. The players of course didn’t do everything I expected, but I’ve come to expect that, so my expectations were met.

I go on and on about this, but my group is really good. They are great gamers. They are playing a system that punishes stupid actions. They are adventurous, but they use their head. Their characters use their tech to their advantage. They don’t walk into a situation unprepared, at least voluntarily. So while this session had many chance for grave bodily harm to be inflicted on the PCs, they managed to avoid it.

I knew this was going to be an important session in the campaign. I knew there was greater than normal chance a PC would die, so I wanted it to be very good. I struggled with the design of this session for a long time, writing stuff online, in notebooks, etc. I had a general idea of things, but just couldn’t really bring it together. So I tried something new.

I wrote a 7-page short story of the adventure. I envisioned it like a novel or movie, and I wrote it out. This helped me immerse myself in it and really think Was that fun? Yes, it was fun. Does it make sense? Yes, it does.” So I used that short story as an outline of what could happen. It also gave me some nice, prepared, descriptive text to read or at least use somewhat to provide atmosphere. I’ll often to that anyway, but typically I write my adventures in “scenes” so when they PCs arrive at a new location, if it is one I’ve considered, I’ll have some nice information about the atmosphere.

Overall it was a good way to do things. I don’t know if I’d do it in every adventure, but for this one it worked.

After we finished the session we had a talk, and I had considered resuming the campaign with the team back in civilized space, and not role play the journey home. But we have always resumed exactly from where we left off, and I think it is best to continue this practice. It is fun that way.

Game ideas, a short hiatus, etc

I put our Traveller campaign on hiatus until June. Just a short two month hold. I’m just so tired of being at my computer, in my home office, all the time these days I need a break. The idea of spending 3 or 4 hours pretty much “working” for fun at GM was making me sort of anxious. I love being the game master (or Referee in Traveller), but let’s face it. GMing is intense. It is performance. You have to really be “on”, and to do a good job you have to not only be prepared with your game materials, but you have to be physically and emotionally geared up as well. The last 14 months have taken their toll. I just need a short break. I’m glad my gaming group is all so cool and understanding. It helps that we’ve known each other since we were kids.

Image credit: ESA/Garrelt Mellema (Leiden University, the Netherlands) – Hubble Image

This break, however, is giving me a good chance to write new material for our campaign. I’m trying to spend 30 minutes to an hour a day working on stuff. I find that for each session I come up with an idea, and then over the course of development it changes tremendously. The team is currently on an ice planet, exploring a wrecked freighter, waaaaaay out in unexplored space. How did it get there? What happened to the crew? How long has it been there? So many questions to be answered. I watched a really interesting documentary last week. After we play the session I’ll discuss the documentary here and how it has influenced the session, but tonight I came up with what I think will be a very fun, super weird trajectory for this next session to take, all based on stuff from this documentary. Had nothing to do with space.  I’m enjoying coming up with the rest of this stuff.

A challenge for me, now, is to make sure the session has things for each PC to really be engaged in during the session. It can’t all be about “my great idea.” That idea is to provide the challenges for the players, so I need to make sure each PC has a chance to shine. Since players are unpredictable, I need to make sure I have two or three chances for each PC to do his thing and have his time of greatness!

Tomorrow, officially, is Mayday!, a special day in the life of Traveller players. This year Jeff (my podcasting partner on SAFCOcast) and I are playing in an online game as part of the online Traveller celebration organized by Virtual Traveller, Cyborg Prime, and Two Brothers Gaming. Beside the games, there are online talks and interviews all day. Looking forward to all of it!

Speaking of SAFCOcast, yes, Jeff and I will be creating a new episode after this game. We’ll be reporting on the online Mayday activities, and of course will have some internet finds and other Traveller talk. With the pause in our campaign, and each of us starting new jobs, we’ve been a bit preoccupied with “life” recently, but rest assured the podcast shall go on. We both love doing it.

I’ve been fantasizing about running two groups in our campaign. Christopher Rice, GURPS-master and Lord of Ravens N’ Pennies, does that. There are other people I really want to have in the game. My old college roommate for one. He’s the best GM ever, and he needs to be in our game. Since we went virtual it’s totally possible now. And there are a couple more players I’d like to involve. The problem is once a group gets over three or four players I don’t feel like I can give each PC the attention they deserve. I really like to shine the spotlight on each player, during each game, and once I pass four players in a session it gets tough. Right now we have 5 players in the came, and one occasional player. That’s about as many as I can handle. So running teams A and B would be really fun. The reality is that it will be tough to do that until I’m retired. I just can’t put enough time into gaming right now to make this happen. But…I might try anyway. Having teams A and B would open up some really fascinating possibilities to see how each’s actions might affect the other. Would they ever meet? Would they be allies? I need to do this.

Finally, I bought more 99 cent one-page adventures by Michael Brown. I love his work. So, so good.

 

ITV Session 20: Ice Planet in the Void

I didn’t write this one up right after the game, but here are Jeff’s notes. Pretty complete…

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Traveller Session 20 Writeup (from Jeff’s notes, probably a bit “noisy”)

Into The Void – Session #20

9 Jan 2021 (Sat)  Start 1:00PM.

Bob Loftin, GM. Players: Randy (Roger), William (Barney), David (Flint), Jeremy (Art), Jeff (Lucky)

We exit the complex, board ship.  We are at point #1 on Bob’s star map.

Our air raft is damaged.  Jeremy (+3) is the best suited (mech and air raft) to attempt repair.  Jeremy rolls, great success, air raft is fixed.

Roger (+4) pilots ship, rolls for Jump 1, success.

We are now in system #2.  There is a gas giant here.  We have enough fuel to jump to #3, if we want.  We scan – 20 planets, 1 gas giant, couple of icy worlds, no signs of signals.

Nebula – glowy gas.  We can scan one hex ahead.  Art (+2 navigator) rolls, does not detect anyhing in “empty” hex between #2 and #3.

We make it to point #3.  There is a gas giant in this system.  We scan, art rolls 6+2 = 8.  There is a star ahead with 9 planets, we can’t tell if there is a gas giant here. (target scanned = #4).

Zal – Would like to find an actual Precursor city or outpost.  Care needed, they could have sophisticated defense systems.

Roger rolls for jump – rolls 11, successful jump to #4.

ARRIVAL AT ICE PLANET:

We arrive at #4, one gas giant, 9 planets.  Barney (+3 computer) scans.  Barney finds one planet with a lot of water, scanning as we go.  Ass we get close, we find it is ice.  It is planet number 4 in this system.  80% water, frozen, 20% land.  One fairly large continent on southern hemisphere.  No moons.  We pick up a radio signal beacon – standard Imperial, very weak.

LIFE FORMS AND CRASHED CARGO SHIP:

Appears to be life on this planet.  In distance, a herd of creatures stomping through snow and ice.  Flying beings, as well.  We approach the radio signal, a distress beacon.  We see the wreckage of a large cargo ship, a crash site.  Looks like the back section just fell off.  Front is mostly under snow and ice.  Terrain is frozen.  200 foot cliff goes up to mesa above.  The ship is much, much larger than ours, maybe 300 feet long.

Two large holes in front part of ship, open to air.  The back of the ship has a large hole.

We each arm ourselves with 5 grenades.

We land.  I (Lucky) fly drone to survey the crashed ship.  Ship is three decks high, catwalk visible from hole in back.  We see cargo containers, hole at left of ship, destroyed cargo area.  Northwest hole at front of ship is the crew quarters.  No bodies seen anywhere.

ICE APES:

From hole in side of ship, we see four heat signatures.  Moving closer, we see that they are twice the size of humans, look like gorillas or apes.  Bringing drone closer, we see that they are not moving, appear to be asleep or perhaps in hibernation. They look like predators. Zal does not know anything about these life forms.

CRATES:

The crates look like they contained prefab building materials.  

PLAN:

Outside of ship – snow and ice.  No markings evident.  Our plan – Fardt will stay on our ship.  I will stay as nearby our ship as possible, will keep tabs on sleeping lifeforms with drones.  Everyone else will form a team to enter the crew area and explore through the NW hole in the crew section.

EXPLORATION:

The away team enters the crew compartment.  Art knows the general ship layout.  Crew compartment is on three levels.  The party is trying to make their way to the control bridge.  They encounter a hatch, frozen closed.  Flint, strength 10, tries to open it.

— END OF SESSION #20 —

End Session
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Elapsed game time: 241

SAFCOcast 24: Interview with Ken Patterson and Greg Caires about the 2021 MayDay! online Traveller event!

In this episode we interview Ken Patterson and Greg Caires about the upcoming Mayday! event.

The first day of May – May Day – has special meaning to Traveller players due to the infamous Mayday call from the Free Trader Beowulf that has appeared on box and book covers of various variants of the game since its earliest years.

In 2021, May Day will be a Saturday – an ideal time to play Traveller.

To help the global Traveller community celebrate May Day, three groups of players have teamed up to create a unique day of Traveller-related programming.

Operating from its home base on Facebook, the Virtual Traveller group – the same people who organized the weekend-long online “non-convention” last October – will organize “MayDay! a Celebration of Traveller through online roleplaying.” GMs from across the globe will be invited to run Traveller games online using whatever communications tools they prefer and during any suitable time period based on their locale. The only requests are:

  • All games must begin and be run during May 1st in the GM’s local time-zone;
  • All games must conclude by 7 pm Saturday night Central US Time on May 1st to “clear the decks” for a charity game that will be broadcast live on Twitch (more about this below).

Based on lessons-learned from the Virtual Traveller weekend, MayDay! will be organized using Tabletop Events for simplicity game submission, player registration and communication. To cover the expense of using Tabletop, a nominal fee (likely $3) will be charged. That fee buys players their convention badges, and they can then join and play as many games as their schedules will allow.

More about MayDay!:

Tabletop Events:
https://tabletop.events/conventions/mayday-celebration
Facebook Virtual Traveller Group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/virtualtraveller
Discord Virtual Traveller server:
https://discord.gg/3WRUjXk

Both GMs and players are sought. Questions can be submitted via the links above.

If online gaming isn’t your thing, CyborgPrime is organizing the 3rd annual “Mayday! Mayday!” event, which consists of live interviews of Traveller authors and others who contribute to keeping the game popular and replenished with fresh material. Last year, CP interviewed both Matthew Sprange and Marc Miller, and generous prizes were awarded to members of the audience.

This year, CP intends to interview a variety of new voices, giveaway more and better prizes, give a platform to Ken Burnside of AdAstra Games to host some Traveller Squadron Strike vector combat simulations. The marquee event will be – like last year – the live broadcast of Patrick Kanouse’s Traveller game to benefit his charity The Carcinoid Cancer Foundation (https://www.carcinoid.org/).

Joining him as players are Two Brothers Gaming, High Shelf Gaming, and The Death Die Club. They will be playing Michael Brown’s Angle of Incidence: “A routine cargo run leads to a station orbiting a black hole and one man’s world of obsession, secrets, and madness. As the heroes help an intelligence agent investigate the mad scientist’s activities, they come to realize that they may bear witness to the ultimate adventure…or become just more bits of matter crushed by the black hole’s gravity.”

The Carcinoid Cancer Foundation’s mission is to increase awareness and educate the general public and healthcare professionals regarding carcinoid and related neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), to support NET cancer patients and their families, and to serve as patient advocates. We’ll be giving away a bunch of things, and you can even have an effect on the game.
The game will stream on High Shelf Gaming’s Twitch channel (https://twitch.tv/highshelfgaming/profile) at 8:00 pm Eastern. The game will include giveaways and opportunities to influence the game.

SAFCOcast 23: To Violence Or To Not Violence

First, thanks to all our listeners for sticking with us! It has been two months since the last episode, which of course is not our goal, but life got in the way!

In this episode, besides the usual sections, our main topic deals with non-violent/non-combat Traveller (and other RPGs) sessions. Not arguing against a good shoot-em-up, but just using other kinds of challenges to create a good game.

We also mention Jeff’s table of 2d6 outcome probabilities, so here it is!

Relevant Links

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