In the previous session, the crew of the It’s A Sex Thing had reached Imperium space at Cyclone, with a plan to do some basic trading on their way to Egurgadi. My plan for this session had been to get to the start of the mission to explore the comet where the Deepnight Endeavour had picked up the infection from an alien spacecraft, and so kick off the Deepnight part of the campaign for real, having finished the Islands part of the campaign. However, there was a bit of a surprise wrench in those plans, since a new player joined the group, meaning we got sidetracked with character generation and introducing him into the crew.
This was someone who has played Traveller before (and played with most of us before as well), so there wasn’t too much explanation needed of the rules, just an introduction to Roll20. He had decided that he wanted to play a Vargr agent, so it was time to see if that worked out as expected.
He got a reasonable set of stats (Str 7, Dex 9, End 11, Int 9, Edu 8, Soc 6) – I allow 9 sits of stats to be rolled and drop the lowest three (which were 2, 3 and 4). He made it into University, and even graduated, then went on to try for entry into the Agent career. He only needed to roll 4+ on the dice, but rolled a 2. It was then that I remembered we hadn’t done the pre-career events, so I gave him a choice of taking that roll on the event table instead (2 was probably going to be extreme, and neither of us had checked it). He took that option, and got the event to be a Psion. Rolling Psionic Strength got a 9, so pretty decent. Since he could try for the Psion career at any point, he went for Agent again and got in, staying there for three terms. In his final term, he ended up getting badly injured and loosing a hand. Fortunately medical technology is there to repair things, and gave him a reason to have met Zanobia and Shinzaro at some point in his past.
For his last term he went for Psion, and this is a part of the rules I’m not familiar with, so I made some guesses. He ended up gaining Telepathy, Clairvoyance, Telekinesis and Awareness all at 0, spending a term in the Psi Warrior career.
So we now had a Psionic Vargr Detective, with a damaged hand, who decided to call himself Alfred “Goldi” Bester. Being a Vargr raised in the Imperium, it was reasonable that he had a human-like name rather than a native Vargr name. Maybe unusual to have a name all the way from the year 2258 though…
He ran into the crew at Cyclone starport (it’s a small universe), giving them a chance to catch up on events since their previous encounters and discuss what they wanted to do. Since he’d had a job offer from Deepnight Exploration as well, he had a reason to join the crew and head for Egurgadi. As far as the NPCs went, I managed to have Madeline join in the conversation, since she as a well defined role and personality. I still have difficulty getting Trennance involved in the roleplaying though.
There wasn’t much to do at Cyclone, so they picked up some passengers and a bit of freight. Khadashi tried to pick up some artwork here, but the best the world had to offer were ‘snow globes’ with jungle miniatures, which included the toxic pollen inside which would be a hazard if broken, so he decided to skip getting an art exhibit from this world.
They also had a chance to pick up some rumours:
- There is a cross-Rift race, limited to J-2 ship, due to leave in a few weeks. It’s a race that happens once every four years, running from Cyclone to Cerebin and back. There is a one million credit prize, though far more can be made from sponsorships and advertising. Several contestants are here already, with their fast racing yachts.
- Footage has been released of mass executions of locals happening on Sirir, a planet already considered to be a Red Zone. The Dictator has been putting down unrest, and has declared any Imperium ships landing there to be trespassers and spies to be immediately detained and executed. The Vipach subsector capital at Dikaash is discussing where intervention is required.
- A local Holovid show has been planning a hoax to send a ship into Amondiage with a crew claiming that they are fleeing part of a conspiracy which fakes the existence of the Imperium. The local Imperium governor has gone to the courts to have the plan forbidden, since it risks destabilising trade.
Having dealt with the conspiracy theorists whilst in the Islands, the players liked the idea of the last one. But they left things alone and left after a few days, taking a couple of businessmen and a group of ‘hippy’ animal lovers (a male Vargr, and two human women) who had been down in the jungles of Cyclone taking photos of the animals.
On 310-1106, they make the jump towards Eskandor. The passengers were mostly behaved, with the two businessmen keeping to themselves, and the three ‘hippies’ spent most of the time enthusiastically talking about the animals they’d seen, taking drugs and occasionally talking about sniper rifles.
Arrival at Eskandor went smoothly, though Madeline wasn’t too happy with the prices they’d get for some of their cargo. Eskandor is a dry world with a thin atmosphere, but the small population has a lot of leisure time with most of the work automated by robots.
As always, there were rumours for them to pick up:
- The Eskandor Stones are a set of silicate based creatures that are found up in the northern hemisphere. There are 73 of them, and seem to be able to move at a speed of several millimetres a day by vibrating themselves. Attempts to understand their language, which is also caused by vibrations, is making slow progress.
- Several hunting groups have gone missing over the past few months. Normally groups of half a dozen off-worlders hunting the Spotted Gelkoi, a type of predatory lizard. There is a group on Eskandor opposed to the hunts, and they are suspected but there is no proof.
Having a new member of the group meant things went slightly differently to what I was expecting. Often the group hasn’t wanted to get involved in local politics and events, so I was expecting the second rumour to be glossed over as some background text, however Alfred immediately picked it up, since it would involve some investigation. Suspicion was laid upon the three passengers they’d given a lift to as well.
Meanwhile, as their cargo was sorted out, Shinzaro went to do some surfing (low gravity, high waves) and Khadashi had some more luck finding artwork. The speciality here was Liquid Metal Sculpting – take a block of metal, then heat it with a plasma torch until it begins to melt, and sculpt it into the desired shape. So he picked up a small abstract piece for a mere Cr1,000.
Zanobia flashed her credentials and managed to go out to see the Stones, joining the scientists there.
The most detailed activity though was the missing hunting groups. Asking around at the bars, the locals didn’t seem that bothered. It affected tourism, but they also didn’t like off-worlders coming here and shooting animals which were already at risk, so there was some sympathy for those who had taken action, even though they might not entirely agree with the murder of people.
Though the local law enforcement were investigating, it was rather haphazard. There were no bodies, no vehicles left behind and no clues. The local Imperium authorities at the starport were more concerned that Imperium citizens were being murdered, but not having the authority to get involved in local planetary affairs, their hands were tied.
The group was divided on what they wanted to do – Alfred wanted to investigate, the others were less inclined to do so unless there was an incentive. They were also concerned about having time to get the upgrades done on their ship, but I pointed out that they had plenty of time, and that I wouldn’t punish them if they wanted to do a bit of adventuring on the way to the main mission. I didn’t want the new player to completely derail things, but I also wanted to give him an opportunity to ‘find his character’.
So it’s agreed that they’ll take a look into the missing people, and there’s probably going to be a bounty offered by the Imperium for any private people to look into the problem. It was getting quite late by this point though, so I called it a night to give me time to figure out what’s going on.
And just to add a complication, my computer decided to die this morning (probably motherboard failure). Most of my stuff is backed up, but not all of it, but I need to try and spend time figuring out what I’m missing from my notes and tools from my campaign.