At the end of the previous session or our monthly Traveller game set in the Trojan Reach, the players were loaned a ship to go after those responsible for what happened both at Ocean View and on Neon. This gives them a bit more freedom with a bit more of an open campaign compared to the canned adventures I’ve done previously. Hopefully the players know a bit more about the setting now as well, so can start making their own decisions.
The ship they have is a 100t Aslan Hraye Scout, with not much in the way of cargo space but a reasonable Jump-2 drive. They’ve been paid a Cr1,000,000 at the end of their last job, so that also gives them a reasonable amount of spending money in case they either don’t want to trade, or trading goes wrong.
We started off sorting out experience from the previous session. Experience tends to be optional in Traveller, but I like to give out small doses of it after major adventures so people can round out their skills. They
Their main problem with the ship was that most of the controls were in Aslan, so Una picked up some Language so she could learn just enough Aslan to label all the controls. She’s not going to be fluent right away, but pointing points into the skill means she can probably start learning over time as she translates the ship manual.
Their current plan was to try and find the Transcription Factor, a lab ship owned by Dr Asharu Idaaasha Kaazaki. The ship had left Ocean View and headed for the Scaladon main world, so that’s where the Travellers headed.
With several days to kill, they have a poke around the ship. Since they asked whether there was anything hidden, I figured I’d give them something, so Rykiel found a rather nice high quality clawed glove, designed to fit an Aslan. Micky found a holo-photo (since everything in SF has the word ‘holo’ prefixed to it) of two Aslan children. Hidden in the back of the photo was a datachip which turned out to be encrypted.
I haven’t decided what’s on the datachip yet, but it’s probably a simple decryption key based on his family or birth dates or something. Fortunately in the ancestor’s shrine there is a family tree of all the ship owner’s relatives, so they’ll probably figure it out after a few days of trying.
Arriving at Scaladon they quickly realised how much of an unpleasant place it is. The station, Geynim’s Spindle, is a rather spartan station which lacks the usual bustle of activity typically found at class A starports. Customs don’t want to look at them (the customs official is male, they are female, so he’s a bit embarrassed to talk to them), and the place was dark, with activity sensors only switching on street lighting where people were moving, and armed police in white armour marked only with the symbol of the Prophets of Geynim.
I did try to put some effort into describing the general feel of the place. One problem I have with Traveller is that worlds can seem a bit bland – the game can be at such a large scale, that individual worlds are just points on the map. I want to try and give each world it’s own character and feel, so that they become memorable. I’m not sure how well I succeeded at that – descriptive flavouring tends not to be my strong point. The players did decide they didn’t want to stay overnight in a local hotel though, and would prefer to stay aboard their ship. So maybe I was partially successful.
They managed to track down details for the Transcription Factor – it had arrived on 1105-281, and left 7 days later with a course declared for Ardasii. Getting information here was harder than on most worlds – an official request had to be made (Admin check), and if all the forms had been filled in correctly then the information would be provided some hours later.
Finding potential cargo wasn’t too hard though – they had a number of options. and settled on 3t of live jellyfish (at Cr10K/t, taking the gamble that they’ll be able to sell it for more at Ardasii), and 12t of freight in the form of biochemicals, also heading for Ardasii. The jellyfish will require a Science/Biology check (6+) each week to keep alive, but that shouldn’t be a problem for them. I’m still not using the ‘official’ Traveller rules for buying and selling cargo. It seems too abstract and bland, and doesn’t allow for each world to have it’s own individual stamp on things. It means more work for me, since I can’t just roll on some tables, but maybe at some point I can come up with a compromise.
Whilst Micky was looking for ‘unofficial’ cargo, she was approached by a woman named Anna Taparka who wants her to take a data crystal to a journalist on Imisaa, which apparently contains evidence of some of the atrocities that occur on the planet’s surface. After some discussion with the rest of the group, they decide to accept it, and are paid Cr1,000. It needs to get to Hans Irisidii at the “Starwisp” cafe on Imisaa.
Because the group weren’t staying at any of the local hotels, they didn’t really get much of a chance of picking up rumours. Just in case anyone ever comes back here it does mean that I can re-use them. I also had another patron lined up with another smuggling gig, but they had decided on a full hold by then, so I’ll keep that one for another time.
Una does purchase half a dozen sculptures of their god – some sort of tentacled monstrosity, a sort of cross between the venomous jellyfish-like things that are found in their oceans, and the giant venonmous dragonfly-like things that are found in the air. Given this group is somewhat behind my other group in the timeline, I wonder whether any of the art will find it’s way to the art collector PC in Reft sector. The mass is incidental, so doesn’t come out of their cargo capacity. The price, Cr1,000 each, isn’t quite so incidental.
They barely spend three days here, before deciding to leave and head off for Ardasii. They know their target, the Transcription Factor, went that way, plus it’s the home of Ardasii Metals, the company that Dr Kaazaki worked for, so there could be more information available on what he was doing.
Una’s player has helpfully created a spreadsheet to track what they’ve purchased and for how much, so I won’t need to track that myself. I do like it when the players do some of the work for me.