Into the Void Ref’s Notes Session 28

We were one player down this session, but ran his character carefully and safely.

This was the end of a 4-session adventure. Really, it could have been added into the previous session, but I really didn’t have anything ready at the time. One good thing about running short sessions is that it allows you to react to the character’s actions well. It also draws things out a lot.

So here’s something I noticed during this session. At one point a couple of the PCs split off in the air raft, the idea being they could cover the rest of the team from a high vantage point. One of the PCs has good Rifle skill, so he was great as a sniper. The other, Barney, the engineer, was more of a lookout. Barney’s player, William, often puts his character in a lookout position. He seeks a good vantage point, and this has paid off many times for the group, whether playing Traveller or GURPS.  In this particular case it didn’t hurt anything, but it didn’t help either. I could have helped, but it didn’t. As the Referee, I didn’t suddenly invent some threat for him to deal with. Things were as they were. The team had created a good plan. They’d acted rationally. There was no reason some threat would instantly materialize just to keep William entertained.

And the great thing is this: William didn’t need to be entertained. He is a long-time RPGer, and an engaged player. Like the rest of this group, he thinks of the team’s success and how he might contribute to it, rather an worrying about being the constant superstar. So as an adult RPGer, he is able to accept that the actions of his PC did not put him in the spotlight but remain engaged with the game.

I appreciate that. I am a very lucky GM to have a group like this.

ITV Session 28: Goodbye, Old Frenemy


SAFCO, Sally Rasputin, and Reesus Peesus have boarded the Rambler-II and are in space, heading for the first of two jumps needed to return to Mylor. The cargo hold contains 6 transport coffins full of radioactive ore intended for delivery to crime boss Lynn Lomax Jr. The micro-bomb Lomax has implanted into the neck of Reesus has been removed while on the moon Desolis, using a microscopic amount of the energy-leeching crystalline organism discovered on that moon of Trask-6. Reesus need not fear Lomax anymore.

The crew spends two weeks in transit back to Mylor. During the trip Reesus teaches the crew a few gambling tricks for card games, and they learn that he wants to kill Lomax, which is fine with the crew, but it would leave a power vacuum. Reesus tells them that Lomax’s 2nd in command, Alro Rupalian, has expressed his concerns over the move into the spaceport, and might be a good person to assume control of the Lomax interests.

As the team approaches Mylor Reesus reveals the coordinates of a private landing site/hideout used by Lomax to receive contraband materials. He is able to give them a general idea of the layout. The landing site is in an inlet in the canyon walls, on a river about 100 km east of Mylor city. They ask him if Lomax will be there and he says yes, Lomax doesn’t trust anyone, so he’ll be there to receive the goods.

To avoid being stopped by authorities SAFCO enters the atmosphere well away from the city. They have devised a plan, as they have no intention of handing radioactives over to a criminal.

Reesus uses a private radio channel to contact Mergatroyd, my Mylor City, to request assistance.

Barney and Flint take the air raft out, far from the landing site, and quietly take up a position on the other side of the river, on the edge of the canyon, across from the landing site, reporting in to those remaining on the ship.

Roger lands the Rambler-II after notifying Lomax via radio that they’ll be there.  As they land, on either side of the landing pad, they see a tower (camouflaged from the air) in which a guard stands watch with a laser rifle. There are several entrances to what must be a base in the face of the canyon walls.

Roger and Reesus descend the loading ramp to great Lomax and his entourage. Both are armed. Lomax comes out smiling, “Welcome SAFCO. I trust you have the shipment? It’s going to make us a lot of money!”. “Yes,” replies Roger, “we’ve got it.”

“I see you’ve brought my favorite lap dog back as well – hello Reesus!”

Reesus seethes. Memory of the weeks and weeks of servitude and fear overwhelm him. He draws his autopistol and points it at Lomax.

“Reesus! What’s wrong with you? Don’t you remember this?” Lomax shows him the detonator he carries with him, which weeks ago would have triggered the micro-explosive Lomax had implanted next to his carotid artery. Reesus is swearing profusely and shaking slightly. Reesus keeps the gun pointed at him. Lomax grows visibly concerned. Reesus smiles slightly. Lomax uses the trigger. Nothing happens. His eyes go wide in disbelief. He triggers it again and again to no effect. Reesus smiles and pulls the trigger – MISSING Lomax completely!

The shit hits the fan as the shot is fired.

From across the river Flint fires his rifle, hitting the closest laser wielding guard in the head, killing him. The guard goes tumbling from his deer stand style post, falling 30 feet to the floor of the landing site.


Roger tosses a hand grenade next to Lomax, who fails to dive for cover. He’s blown to bits and two of his henchmen are knocked out.


The other laser guard, having seen Reesus fire at Lomax, fires at Reesus, the bright red laser beam burning a hole through his skull, killing him instantly.


Aboard the Rambler, Fardt directs the automated pulse laser turret to fire on the surviving laser guard. The ships laser hits, vaporizing the goon and burning a hole in the canyon wall.


Lucky points the bottom pulse laser turret at the remaining goons. The GM rolls a morale check, and they fail, dropping their weapons and surrendering.

Roger directs the SAFCO robot to take Reesus to the autodoc, but it is hopeless. A large tunnel has been burned through his brain.

A white flag comes out the door, followed by a tall androgynous man and a few more thugs, all with their hands up. The tall man introduces himself as Alro Rupalian, and asks where Reesus is? SAFCO explains the situation. With regard to Lomax, Rupalian states “Lomax as a fool. Moving into the spaceport and bring the attention of imperial authorities was a dumb risk.”  He goes on the say “We won’t be taking those radioactives. It’s one thing running guns and contrand, but I don’t want to start selling WMD components. That’s bad business.”

Finally Mergatroyd and some associates arrive via air raft and take Reesus’s body. He and Rupalian disappear into the hideout to talk business.

SAFCO, having regrouped, with Sally, board the ship to discuss their next moves…

Loose ends: They still have the radioactives. What to do about Falke, back on Desolis, who has the energy leeching organism and wishes to profit from it. They have not left the hideout yet.

End of session.

Elapsed time: 393 game days



CCC 10: Boris Levensky

System: Classic Traveller
Setting: Homebrew — Into the Void
4 terms Other,  age 34

Gear: shotgun, dagger, electronics tool kit. 115,000 cr.

Boris is a private person. He doesn’t say much. Boris is a skinny little red-headed bastard, and tough. He’s from somewhere, but you’ll never hear where that is.  He’s had a rough life and has bounced from one dead-end job and backwater planet to the next. Once someone told he he had some sort of mental disorder. Boris doesn’t really know. He tried working in an asteroid mine once but just didn’t have the skills, and frankly he found it a bit unpleasant. He’s picked up one useful skill over his 34 years — he’s not bad at fixing electronic devices. Seems to have a knack for it. He’s good with a shotgun, and loves to fight. A fair fight, to Boris, is one that he wins.  Boris doesn’t think much past the present. He’s a survivor but not really a thriver.  One thing he’s learned in his travels — trust only his shotgun and dagger.

CCC 9: Andrea LeAndros

System: Classic Traveller
Setting: Homebrew — Into the Void
1 term Merchants,  rank 1, age 22
Auto Pistol-1

Gear: auto pistol with 1 spare clip, medical kit, 6000cr, carved wooden figurine of alien bird worn on a line around her neck (a good luck charm from one of many ports).

Andrea LeAndros comes from the planet Sylix, the second habitable planet in the Zapata system. Habitable but not exciting. Like so many talented young people born on minor planets into modest circumstances, Andrea found her escape into the greater galaxy by signing on to the Merchant services after visiting the Spacers Union Hall. Well-educated, she passed found a berth and job aboard a 500-ton freighter as an apprentice crew member. In her first term she learned basic medic skills, how to shoot an auto-pistol (gotta be able to defend against piracy), and skillful use of a vacc suit. Before she could begin her 2nd term the company owning that freighter went bankrupt, which resulted in at least temporary unemployment for the captain and crew.  She is now waiting for a position on a new ship, but will entertain other employment offers to get by.

Andrea is 5’5″ tall, has short-cropped spacer hair (dark), and typically wears a jacket procured on one of their stops, a dark leather spacer’s jacket with hidden interior pocket that can mask its content from electronic detection. She’s a solid crew member, has a natural gift as a medic, and loyal to friends. A young person in search of opportunity.


CCC 7: Donatella Donazian

System: Classic Traveller
Setting: Homebrew — Into the Void
1 term Diplomat, rank 1
Age 22

Gear: 20,000 cr. Auto pistol, dagger, air raft, personal communicator and hand computer.

Donatella grew up on the subsector capital planet Zapata, the daughter of a well-connected noble family. Somewhat lacking in intellect, she was none the less a devoted student of Imperial history and staunch supporter of the system. Through luck and family connections Donatella managed to join the Imperial Diplomatic Corps and hoped to make a name for herself as a peacemaker. During her short time in the service she found that she had a knack for talking people out of information they might wish to hide,  and due to her upbringing she was great in liaison roles. Sadly after her first term she was forced to return home to attend family matters, and has only now managed to get back off-world, exploring on the frontier where she enjoys her anonymity. Going by the nickname Tella, she has found a role working as a contractor/negotiator for large companies seeking contracts.

CCC 6: Reginald Rogers

System: Classic Traveller
Setting: Homebrew — Into the Void
2 terms Navy
Age 26
Fwd Obr-1, Engineering-1, Carbine-1

Gear: 60,000 credits, carbine

Reginald Rogers should have gone much further in the Navy. Physically gifted, intelligent, and well-educated, on paper he looks like the perfect officer. The problem? Reggie is just a dick. Arrogant, narcissistic, and abrasive. Reggie spent his first term in Engineering on a battle cruiser. He was a great beginning engineer. Sadly he was impossible to work with and didn’t take orders well. He was always “the smartest guy in the room.”  In his second term, having made no friends,  he was sent to a battle zone to be a forward observer. His talent allowed him to survive the experience, but he decided maybe the Navy wasn’t the place for him. Not good enough. Not smart enough to recognize his greatness. He mustered and headed to the frontier to make a name for himself.

CCC 5: Marc Lewin

System: Classic Traveller
Setting: Homebrew — Into the Void
5 terms Rogue
Age 38
Streetwise-1, Dagger-1, Brawling-1, Ship Tactics-2, Demolition-1

Gear: 100,000 credits, low passage (x2), high passage, dagger, brass knucks, auto pistol

Marc Lewin did not fit in well in the affluent area of Prometheus in which he was raised. It was hard to get into real trouble there in that sanitized environment, but Marc had a larcenous streak. Mark wanted off this boring planet. He thought he might join the Navy and had an early interest in starship warfare – his only academic success. As a teen he played naval warfare simulation constantly. Sadly his psyche evaluation was not up to Naval standards and he was not able to enlist. At 18 Marc signed as “crew” on a sketchy freighter and spent years on that ship doing sketchy things. After 20 years, with a large bankroll, Marc finally left that crew on the frontier, but is still on the lookout for an easy dollar or some excitement.

Mark is 5’9″ tall, medium build, has long brown hair and blue eyes. He carries a dagger, an auto pistol, and wears cloth armor jacket.

CCC 4: Nytalia Bronson

System: Classic Traveller
Setting: Homebrew — Into the Void
5 terms marines Rank 2 (Captain)
Age 38
Auto Rifle-1, Blade-3, Electronics-1, Ground Car/ATV-1, Brawling-1, Cutlass-1, Revolver-1

Gear: low passage, blade, auto rifle, backpack, revolver, cutlass

Hailing from the mining planet of Overon, Nytalia Bronson won the genetic lottery (original stats AABB76). How could a person of her capabilities remain on Overon? When she strutted into the Marine recruitment office no one even considered turning her away, as she passed the physical and mental testing with ease.

Nytalia’s physical attributes and sharp mind made her a great hand-to-hand fighter. She was deployed to numerous conflicts and inflicted a lot of casualties on pirates, chopping many up in close quarters using her 9″ blade during ship boardings. Her skill with the Blade gives her a defense that is hard to breach and an attack that is hard to avoid. Hand-to-hand fighting is, in fact, one of her favorite pursuits. For Nytalia it is a mental game, and her time spent honing her skills in the Marines actually boosted her overall intelligence. She could learn nearly anything, and it good with electronics, but she – just – likes – fighting.

Nytalia is 6″ tall, with close-cropped graying brown hair and light brown skin. She is confident but not arrogant, quiet but not shy. Loyal to comrades, and ruthless with enemies. She’s seen the best and worst of people, and now seeks honest employment on the frontier.


CCC 3: Alro Rupalian

System: Classic Traveller
Setting: Homebrew — Into the Void
4 terms Bureaucrat Rank 2 (currently serving)
Age 34
Dagger-2, JOT-1, Admin-3, Computer-1, Air Raft-1

Alro Rupalian is very, very smart, and always knew how to work the system. It came naturally. So when he finished basic studies the University of Zapata the Imperial Service Exam presented him no problem.  Alro is big and strong, but that is where his physical assets end.  Poorly coordinated and with even worse endurance, Alro prefers pursuits of the mind. Still, a bureaucrat must be able to defend himself, so he trains regularly with a dagger he keeps hidden in his right boot.

Originally stationed in the Imperial liaison office in the downport on Faustus, he found the ranks there crowded and cluttered with officers who really needed to retire but would not. Alro deftly arranged a transfer to Imperial office on Mylor, on the frontier, where opportunities for advancement would grow.

Alro’s greatest skill is his knack for understanding, navigating, and exploiting organizational systems.

Alro is 5’8″ tall, has black hair and a thin black mustache. He wears his Imperial field liaison uniform, and keeps a hand computer in a belt case.

CCC 2: Sir Alix Toffler III

System: Classic Traveller
Setting: Homebrew — Into the Void
4 terms Merchants. Rank 4
Age 34
Grav Vehicle-1, Electronics-2, Nav-1,  JOT-1
Gear: Blade, Low Psg, 40K CR, electronics tool kit, cloth armor,

Noble birth often confers great advantages. At times it can also confer genetic disadvantages. Such is the case of Sir Alix Toffler III, Knight of Realm, from the capital planet of the Prometheus subsector, Prometheus. A physical weakling with horrible coordination, and of only adequate intellect in a family of demigods, Alix spent his youth doing his best to prove himself worthy of his noble title. 5 feet tall and asthmatic, he found the most success in the classroom, due not to his intellect but rather his inquisitive nature and indomitable spirit. At 18 Alix tried enlisting the the planetary army but was turned away. Desperate to prove himself without the aid of his family name, Alix adopted the surname “Tally” and signed on with a tramp freighter in the Merchant service. Over the course of his 16 year career Alix proved himself a capable spacer, though best left out of a fight.  His high level of education enabled him to become a very capable electronics specialist and a good stand-in navigator. On a tramp freighter you’ve gotta fill in where needed, and again his natural flexibility proved to make him a great Jack of All Trades. Despite his absolutely pitiful coordination Alix was found to be a natural air raft pilot. Upon mustering out and returning to Prometheus, Alix found himself even more unwanted in his family, as he had spent a career working on a “dirty freighter”.

Alix prefers to use his wits and skills. He’ll only fight if forced into the situation, being more likely to shoot his own foot off (or cut it, as the case may be) than injure an adversary.

Despite the challenges of his upbringing and treatment by his family, Alix is of hardy and noble spirit, sees the best in everyone, and never ever gives up. He’s 5′ tall, about 100 pounds, thinning blond hair, but a handsome and well-bred face.