The Ocean View luxury resort can be found orbiting the world of Sapphire, in the Scaladon system, Trojan Reach / 2616. It is a 10km diameter ring, with numerous terrain types, hotels and casinos. Eight weeks ago, just before the official opening, one of the fusion reactors exploded, exposing a whole forest ecosystem to vacuum and killing several of the staff.
The insurance claim was substantial, and not everyone is convinced that everything is as it seems. So a group of Travellers have been hired to investigate what happened and try to get the claim invalidated. If they succeed, they’ll be paid Cr1,000,000, if they fail then they get nothing apart from expenses. Since that expenses includes a stay at a very expensive hotel, that could still be considerable.
This adventure was a follow on from a one-shot Traveller adventure I ran for a new group just over a month ago. They enjoyed it sufficiently enough to want to continue, so this one had to give the group a reason to get back together. The start of the Flatlined adventure was good for a one shot – no need for any background for the characters or for them to have a reason to be there, but after it ends there isn’t necessarily a reason for them to stick together. So I needed a reason for them to get back together again, and also something to keep them together long term.
So the seed for the second adventure was that Una, who was a senior manager in a large habitat construction company, saw an opportunity to make money getting the team together to work for the insurance fraud investigation company Sag Mekilure. Their first job was investigating the Ocean View hotel.
In the previous adventure I started things by having the characters wake to find themselves in a crashed starship, this time they woke to the sound of drinks being served about their ship as it came out of Jump near the hotel. I then gave them the background to the adventure. Once again I treated it as an enforced “here is the adventure”, rather than running it as a sandbox.
I was also quite a way through plotting out the adventure before realising that there was very little conflict in it. It was very much going to be a talk to people, get information and put the pieces together. It can be very random how they play out – players can get completely stuck or figure things out straight away, and not knowing the group very well (apart from one player) meant it was possibly a risk.
The characters were:
- Una de Braose – high level manager at a hab construction company
- Micaela Andreescu (Micky) – private investigator
- Rykiel – Xenobiologist
- Betina Silva – A scout pilot, who was missing from this session.
I provided them with the background for their job, and also filled in a bit more of the Traveller background for those who didn’t know it (especially concerning Aslan, who feature quite heavily in the adventure).
Client: Dagashii Nagakhig Gadarsisa (DNG)
Location: Scaladon / Tobia Subsector / Trojan Reach 2616
The trillionaire Galvin Madexi-Worf, has filed a significant insurance claim with our client Dagashii Nagakhig Gadarsisa, and is also threatening to sue the construction company Bu Dari Sernug (Black Sky Industries) after a catastrophic disaster at his new luxury resort orbital Ocean View.
Ocean View is an orbital ring above the ocean world of Sapphire, fourth planet of the Scaladon system in the Trojan Reach. Some weeks ago, it suffered an explosion from a fusion power plant which put a hole in the outer hull, and exposed over a cubic kilometre of luxury resort to vacuum. Several people lost their lives, and a whole wilderness ecosystem was wiped out.
Madexi-Worf is blaming Bu Dari Sernug for cutting corners on quality and safety, and they are performing their own investigation. DSG have asked us to investigate to see if the claims are valid. There is evidence that the resort was in financial difficulty, so an accident such as this might be a good way for Madexi-Worf to recoup some of its investments.
You have no legal authority here, but are representatives of DSG, so refusal to provide you with access may invalidate their claims. As usual, this is no-win, no-fee. Find evidence that will clear the insurance firms of their responsibilities, and the payment for your team will be Cr1,000,000. You also have access to The Long Distance Runner, a heavily modified 200t Safari class starship.
Persons of Interest
They were also provided a list of people who it might be useful to talk to, or at least might have information on what had happened.
Galvin Madexi-Worf: Solomani-Vilani. He is a multi-trillionaire and owner of the resort. Has a very high opinion of himself, very socially aggressive and little time for anyone who doesn’t agree with him.
Jushinii Iga Rimjarsur: Vilani lawyer. She works for Madexi-Worf, and is currently overseeing legal aspects of Ocean View. She is a career lawyer, and financially tied to the company, so most likely to try and cover anything up.
Dr Umar Iishgukim Dumuurpa: Chief medical officer at the resort. Near retirement, so may be looking forward to his pension and may be unwilling to rock the boat if he is aware of any irregularities. Probably provide best access to the dead though.
Hteeahfh Iyhis: Head of security. He should know whether there were any security risks before the explosion. However, an Aslan’s code of honour means they are respectful and loyal to those they serve. You may need to find a way around that.
Ninji Iiresi Shalamrash: They are the chief engineer of the Bu Dari Sernug investigation team. They can be considered ‘trusted’ unless there is evidence to the contrary.
Professor Hayohth Kaeakherl: Chief biologist and game warden, responsible for the resort’s wildlife. Known to have been killed in the accident, it is not known who has taken over from her.
And Other Things
Another bit of provided information, was some fallout from the previous one. Apparently someone named Dr Asharu Idaasha Kaazaki had been blamed for the skill jacking ring on Neon. He worked for Ardassi Metals LIC, but had been fired for that and other illegal projects. The company wanted him for questioning, and had posted a reward of Cr100,000 for anyone bringing him in (alive).
I figured by adding in a hook to the previous adventure who give them a bit of a personal reason to be invested in what happened.
There was some discussion about what course of action they would take – and they decided that they would initially start off undercover, turning up at the Ocean View as guests and seeing what they could find out just by nosing around and asking questions.
Arriving at the station, they used their Imperial credit card to book a stay in the Imperial Villa suite, for a mere Cr25,000/night (basing it the sort of top level hotels available in Vegas). It was expenses paid, and being a high paying guest would get them a lot of latitude in terms of getting access to parts of the hotel which were currently closed.
On the way up to their room, they passed a couple of engineers as they got out of the lift, who were commenting on being late for their assignment and that Ninji would probably kill them. One of them commented that he knew a way of accessing the service tunnels which were normally closed in order to get there quicker.
Their Imperial Villa was suitably impressive – large windows that provided a great view of the rest of the station, bars, a pool, several bedrooms, dining rooms, a holo-suite and their own personal room service. Micky insisted on scanning for bugs, but didn’t find any. But then, she did get a pretty poor roll.
They did manage to arrange a trip out to the Coral Seas, which though officially closed, when you’re paying 25K/night the hotel is willing to bend the rules.
They started by going down to the casino bar to pick up rumours, talking to the barman there and finding out that hotel bookings haven’t been as good as hoped. The barman also talked a bit about Mr Madexi-Worf, saying that he seemed stressed out and was taking it out on the staff. Fortunately he had left the hotel a couple of weeks ago.
From him they found out that the engineers from Black Sky Industries had been provided with the best suites in the hotel, and were causing a bit of trouble for the other guests.
Then they headed down to another bar where the resort’s own technicians were liable to hang out, and after buying a few rounds of drinks managed to get a bit of information out of them – including the information that they’d already worked out themselves that fusion reactors don’t explode. But it was management’s declaration that they did, so that was that.
They also discovered that there had been a group of biologists at the station around the time of the explosion, who worked for Ardassi Metals.
By then it was evening, and time for dinner, so the investigators decided to try out Fresh Meat, the Aslan restaurant. Once again, they are friendly with the staff, and try out the very fresh meat on offer. They got talking with the staff, and discovered that what they seemed most upset about wasn’t the explosion, but what happened before it, but they weren’t willing to talk about it.
Micky also managed to record what some of the Aslan on the neighbouring table were talking about. I don’t recall why they decided to do this (other than they didn’t speak Aslan, and wanted to get it translated later), but she got a good roll this time and got a decent recording without being noticed.
Back at their room, Una got the recording translated and Rykiel and Micky went to see what the engineers in the villa across the hall were doing – which was having a big party. Apparently their boss, Ninji, was very upset with them taking advantage of the free accommodation, food, drink and other forms of entertainment, but they didn’t care too much. The two were invited in to join the party, which they readily did.
Rykiel persuaded one of them to take them out to the service tunnels tomorrow night, to see the animal enclosures where the wild animals were kept. They also found out a bit more about the biologists from Ardassi Metals, including that they were led by a Dr Kazaaki – the same one for whom there was a bounty out on. Apparently they’d left in the lab ship the Transcription Factor some weeks ago.
Meanwhile, Una spent the time listening to the translation and discovered that the Aslan professor had apparently gone insane in the days before the explosion.
The Next Day
Una had a quick discussion with the chief engineer Ninji, and found out that she was very upset, both with her team and the lawyer of the hotel, who was obviously providing free entertainment to try and slow down her investigation. She wasn’t in much of a mood to talk to Una though – one disadvantage of the team being undercover is that they didn’t have a good reason why Ninji would confide in them.
So they got their trip to the Coral Seas – which was a beautiful boating and diving experience for all of them except Una who wasn’t use to nature and had a panic attack when a fish got too close to her. Which was an ideal excuse to get rushed to hospital to see Dr Dumuurpa.
Whilst she was in with the Doctor, the other two had a sneak around, with Rykiel finding the morgue. I’d actually expected things to go differently here – maybe finding out some information first and then breaking in, but the plan they had was good, and probably a lot safer than what I thought they’d do.
In the morgue were a number of human bodies, which variously showed signs of laser wounds, being mauled by a large animal, and various lighter cuts consistent with being attack by an Aslan. Really not what you’d expect from a reactor explosion – especially when Una was later able to obtain the official death records which really didn’t match what Rykiel saw.
Since Rykiel had medical and biology skills, she was able to find the real death records for everyone whilst she was in the morgue, and discovered that all the Aslan bodies that had been recovered had been cremated due to fear of contagion.
Game Warden, Solomani, male, 26. DOA. Killed by Feakhefourar with wounds to chest, large chunks missing from body. Was dead by the time anyone got to him. No sign of contagion.
Dr Iris Yakatoni
Medical Doctor, Solomani female, 32. DOA. Suffered several deep cuts to the chest and face, none of them immediately fatal but she died of blood loss before a team could get to her. Body has been kept in the morgue until further decision is made.
Game Warden, Aslan, male 29. DOA. Almost certainly killed by a direct laser shot to the side of the head, though had taken other laser wounds as well. Physically in a poor state, seems to have ripped off most of his own clothing. Suffering cuts to the legs and lower body that suggests movement through thick forest without care to his own welfare. Body was cremated in case of further contagion.
Engineering Technician, Aslan female 25. DOA. Death due to explosive decompression, though she was likely to die from other causes if intervention had not been possible. Cuts on hands and mouth, seems to have torn off clothing and some fur. Body was cremated in case of further contagion.
Professor Hayohth Kaeakherl
Game Warden, Aslan female, 49. Missing, presumed killed in explosion.
Doctor of Xenobiology, Solomani female, 32. DOA, death due to explosive decompression. Body found outside the station. Body was cremated in case of further contagion.
Security, Vilani male, 31. Killed by laser wounds to chest. Believed shot by Professor Kaeakherl. Body found in forest after the decompression event. Currently in morgue until further decision is made.
Lagumar Amadirian Gakaamunkush
Security, Vilani female, 33. Found dead inside the station after explosion and decompression event. Possibly survived explosion, but suit was pierced by shrapnel, may have died due to blood loss or decompression. Currently in morgue until further decision is made.
Iirne Liizajux Shimimalum
Security, Vilani female, 33. Found with multiple deep cuts and puncture wounds, which penetrated weak points in armour. Neck and both arms broken. Dead when found. Currently in morgue until further decision is made.
Game Warden, Vilani male, 30. Missing, presumed dead.
Alexander died almost a week before the explosion, and Dr Yakatoni shortly after that. The rest seemed to have perished around the time of the explosion, but very obviously many of them died for other reasons. Anyone who has read the Shadows of Sindal adventure might realise where I’m going with this (so note to my players, don’t read it).
The official death records all stated that none of the Aslan had been recovered, which meant that the good Dr Dumuurpa had falsified those records – which might be a way to blackmail him given the background information they had on him.
By this point it was getting very late for our player in Singapore, so it seemed a good place to wrap things up. They’ve got some definite information that something unusual was going on, but they don’t have exact details on what – and to claim their fee they’re really going to have to have to find out the details. We’ve also set a date to run this on the first Saturday of each month, so I guess it’s become a regular game now.
We were down one player unfortunately, because I was unable to get hold of her on Discord, but we potentially have others interested in joining, so I’d need to figure out how to work them in. Depending on the type of character they’re interested in playing, they might be able to slot in as one of the useful NPCs, otherwise I’d need to come up with some other plan.
In terms of how the game went, I think it worked reasonably well. The players were happy to socialise with the various groups and gather rumours, and managed to dig out useful information and start putting things together. I had maybe overdone it with the rumours – give me a d6 and I’m liable to overuse it, so I had a random roll for which rumours the PCs got from each group on the station.
In hindsight, it would have been better (and less work) to just narrow it down to two or three bits of layered information depending on how well they rolled Persuade and what sort of questions they asked. It’s pretty much what I ended up doing anyway. Random rumour rolls work fine when the rumours are just background flavour (or potential plot hooks), but are less useful when the PCs need the information.
But it all seemed to work okay, and there was no need to through in any action scenes to keep things moving, so that was good. Everything should wrap up next session, and then hopefully the PCs will have a reason to stick together and we can start a more campaign based structure rather than one shot adventures.