Playing with Guns

The Travellers have a plan to try and reclaim the science labs about the Deepnight Endeavour, which will require some UV lighting to cleanse the disease from the rooms and corridors. This requires heading into parts of the ship which may not be entirely safe.


With help from the science crew, the Travellers come up with a plan to get hold of some ultra-violet lights with the minimum of risk to themselves. In order to avoid the most infected areas, it requires an EVA round to the starboard gantry, cutting in through the hull with the help of a portable airlock, and coming in through engineering.

Khadashi and Shinzaro lead the team, with Trennance going along with them plus three of the mission crew – Enero, Vania and Ishugi, the latter of which actually has a little weapons training and has a laser rifle. The fact that the tokens I have for these crew members all have red shirts is picked up on by the players, though it’s really down to the simple fact that I have red, green and grey uniformed crew tokens and the science team happened to be red.

Surprisingly, none of the crew (other than Trennance) seem to have any Vacc Suit training, which is somewhat surprising for a team of scientists out on a year long deep space mission. I would have thought they’d have at least basic training, but it added an interesting dynamic to the mission so I didn’t change it.

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Heading out into EVA, loaded down with equipment was too much for some of the crew, and one of the makeshift flamethrowers was dropped after a bad Vacc Suit skill check. Fortunately Shinzaro was able to catch it and bring it back.

Cutting in through the hull I decided to base on Mechanics. As written, the rules seem to suggest that Engineering is anything to do with spacecraft, but this runs into the problem in that it has specialisations none of which are applicable to ‘taking a cutting torch to a hull’. Since the base Engineering skill never goes up, you can’t actually get better at activities such as welding, cutting and patching.

So I’ve decided that Mechanics is the skill to use for basic skill checks like this (since it doesn’t have specialisations, so is a more general skill that can be improved over time). Fortunately Shinzaro is good at mechanics, so manages to cut a nice clean hole through the hull, and the attached portable airlock holds in place.

They have some discussion about whether to re-seal the hole or not. Doing so would be safer in case the temporary seal failed, but slower to get back out if they needed to retreat quickly. In they end they decided to keep it open for a hasty retreat. There should be enough pressure doors on the ship to prevent major decompression.

Moving into the living quarters, there is a body laying in the doorway, bullet wounds in her back and dressed in the grey coveralls of the engineering section. There is much discussion about whether to check to see if she’s alive, or to shoot her to make sure she’s dead, but in the end they decide that she’s probably dead and shift her out of the way (a very low roll on a basic Medic skill tells them she’s dead, and indeed she actually was).

Moving into the hall, they see a second body, this one with burn wounds through their body.

They quickly move down the hall towards the front of the ship, when a sudden laser shot blasts a hole in the wall behind them, sending them all diving into cover. There is some shouting and laughing in what sounds like Vargr.

This is where we discover just how deadly energy weapons are compared to slug weapons, especially against armoured targets. Everyone is in Vacc Suits, which provides armoured protection of 10 – which seems really high for something which is just a Vacc Suit (even if it is high tech). The snub carbines that most of the crew have do 3d6-2 damage, barely able to get through the armour, whilst the laser rifles do 5d6+3 and quite easily burn through the armour, especially with bonuses from effect.

They’d met a group of desperate scavengers, who didn’t believe the claims that the Travellers were a rescue party and who were too hungry to be willing to share the food they’d found. The fight was pretty brief.

The first laser shot was at a couple of the NPCs, and would have hit and been an instant kill, but I decided killing off an NPC in the first round was a bit too much of a trope, so had the shot miss.

Khadashi ran into the Vargr and shot him, hitting and taking him down with a single laser shot. I’ve implemented the optional ‘death’ rules from the Traveller Companion into my Roll20 scripts, so he didn’t immediately die.

The other two scavengers were also shot with lasers and both went down. The 2nd human tried to open up with a carbine at full auto, and managed to completely miss Shinzaro at close range – being unskilled with a weapon is really crippling. The 1st human came out of one of the side doors towards the rear, and started a fight with the science crew, and though she hit Trennance, failed to penetrate his vacc suit. Khadashi shoots her with a laser, taking her down but not mortally wounding her.

With the scavengers down, Vania checks over the Vargr and 2nd human who is dead by now, and takes the laser rifle. Then they quickly head forward to their destination.

Getting to the main crew quarters from there isn’t hard, and there are greenhouses between the rows of staterooms – mostly there to provide some greenery for the crew than being a real source of food or air.

It looks like people have been through here, and some of the greenhouse class is smashed, but the ultraviolet lights are still in place. It takes a few hours, but they manage to disconnect all but two of them without breaking anything, giving them 18 to carry back. They leave most of the flamethrowers behind in order to cut down on the weight.

On the way back, they notice that the injured human has recovered and left, whilst the dead one seems to be growing things – highly likely to be infected. Khadashi uses one flamethrower to burn the infected human and the Vargr laying next to him.

Heading back to the science lab is mostly uneventful, though again a failed Vacc Suit check from one of the crew means another lamp is lost. But they get back having lost no team members and their primary objective completed. Next up they will require a plan to re-pressurise the aft science bays, and clear them of large scale infections.

Samuel Penn

Samuel Penn