This session was going to mostly focus on the archaeological expedition on the island of Bermuda. They could either try and sneak in, or try to get permission. They selected the latter. though in the end it fell to the Aslan to organise an expedition with the Florum Hunting Association. Their contact, Bobby Ransom, was more used to hunting trips than research trips, but after clearing it with his boss (the local Prince), it was agreed as long as any found information was passed by the Prince.
They also needed something that had decent sensors, so Zanobia went to the university to see what they had. Fortunately they had a Science Explorer E4, something I’d put together using the Traveller vehicle rules. I haven’t really looked at these before, and I found them a bit on the abstract side. In the end, I mostly used them as a guide. Ultimately, it wasn’t that important, but it gave me an idea of what sort of things were possible in the rules – and it turned out that there weren’t too many options for features such as scientific equipment and sensors.
Sorting all this out conveniently took as long as Shinzaro needed to recover from her surgery, so they were all able to head off as a team to explore Lake Nigel. After a couple of days of high level scanning, they narrowed their search down to the southern shore. The next day, Zanobia and Trennance went diving to find what looked like the remains of a shuttle.
Meanwhile, Khadashi kept an eye out, and Shinzaro did further sensor sweeps of the area. Madeleine took it on herself to distract the hunter Bobby, by doing some sunbathing and swimming, and generally being friendly towards him. The laser scope on Khadashi’s rifle spent most of the time focused on the back of Bobby’s neck.
There wasn’t much in the way of conflict in this session – it was mostly the PCs digging things up and finding out what was here. So there was a partial wreck of a shuttle, four buried Aslan (two males in armoured suits, two females) and a mass grave of humans. They managed to keep Bobby distracted and cover up any evidence of exactly who the Aslan were, and did the same when an Aslan ship came to take away the bodies, watched over by a representative of the Prince.
A lot of the decisions made were done by NPCs, which I never like doing but it was difficult to avoid it. The Aslan ambassador had the authority to get things done, so forcing the PCs to arrange things or handle the deception didn’t make any sense, especially since it was greatly to the benefits of the Aslan to provide support. I should really make more effort to ensure that there’s a reason that a patron has a reason not to get directly involved, or they are incapable of getting directly involved. In this situation, so that more of the responsibility falls directly on the PCs.
Bu, after all that, the situation was wrapped up, though not without some loose ends being left around which may come back to bite the Aslan in the future. There’s the mass human grave, which dates to the same time as the Aslan, so that may raise questions. But that won’t be the PC’s problem.
The crew are now planning to head to Egurgadi, to meet up with Deepnight. They have about twenty weeks to get there, which should be plenty of time without needing to rush too hard, and allowing for some minor distractions.
It’s 12 jumps (with a J-2 drive) to make the trip, plus they need to allow time for refuelling, taking breaks and any other events that might happen. This does mean that they will be leaving the Islands, and I was originally hoping to keep the campaign focused on this area. One of the troubles I have with Traveller is that because there can be a lot of world hopping, it can be difficult to set up regular NPCs for the PCs to interact with, and detailing the environment has to remain at the world level. After they board the Deepnight exploration ship, it’s probably going to become a lot more episodic – never visiting the same world twice, and being able to leave problems far behind them.
I think the solution will be to also focus on the crew of the expedition ship, and have some of the complications arise from their interactions with the rest of the crew. I still haven’t decided how we’re going to play things out. I’d prefer for the players to have a say in strategy and tactics of the whole mission, rather than me deciding what they do. This would mean giving them either direct control over the command crew (maybe with troupe style play), or at least giving them input as players.