Particle Guns and Bad Diets

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In our previous session of Traveller, the Deepnight Revelation had reached the desert world of Ardasii. I was hoping that we would have a full group of players again, but again real life intruded so we were down to two players. Nevertheless, we decided to continue and had a short session of mostly character based role playing, as well as getting a bit further on in the Deepnight’s journey.

An initial discussion we had was on the subject of players. We’re back to three players, which is fine as long as everyone turns up. With one of our players having real life intrude quite often, we’re often reduced to two players. For this type of campaign, I think that having a slightly larger group would be more useful. So if you read this blog, and think it might be a game that interests you, and you’re available Friday evenings UK time for a Roll20 based game, then we could be interested in hearing from you.

The world of Ardasii has featured in my Traveller games before, but not this one, so only one of the players was aware of its background. I wanted to add a little bit of closure on that plot line though, since I’ve been assuming that both campaigns had been running in the same universe timeline. So I added a reference to the goings on from that campaign in the news and rumours that the group picked up once they reached the planet.

Rumours picked up at Ardasii:

  • A few weeks ago, the lap ship Transcription Factor was raided by Imperium forces shortly after it arrived at Ardasii. The crew have been arrested, including a couple of Psi freaks who were the results of genetic experimentation. There has been some scandal involving the bio division of Ardasii Metals, though the full details have let to be released.
  • One of the Enclaves on the world of Nekrino has used cluster munitions against the ‘outsiders’, reportedly killing several thousand of them. Only limited information is coming out, but apparently the wasteland dwelling outsiders had tried to steal food and power from one of the fortified high-tech Enclaves that are the only places of civilisation on that world.
  • There has been progress in making contact with the Deep Ones of 971-852. They are a species of deep ocean dwelling vertebrates whose status as sophonts has been long debated. They don’t have technology, but they have complicated songs and structured social groupings. A team recently returned from that world is claiming that they had made steps in understanding their ‘language’.

I do like putting in references to other potential plot lines, but the Deepnight will be leaving all that behind them. There was a real discussion about making a side trip to 971-852 to investigate the ‘whales’, but the scientists were talked down based on the fact that it was out of the way, and also there was already a local team investigating it.

Ardasii, a hot world of white deserts.

Since there is no gas giant at the Ardasii system, they had to refuel at the star port, which immediately panicked at the prospect of having to provide 27,000t of fuel for the Deepnight. The crew opted to wait a bit so as not to completely disrupt trade at the world. This gave them time for some R&R, and also a chance to work on the particle barbettes.

The NPC Sir Alixe Vanaadi is turning out to be an interesting character, mostly because she has a purpose so it’s easy for me to come up with things that she’s doing.

She now had a plan on how to fix the two particle barbettes, and presented the XO with a detailed project plan of the process. It was a long set of ‘power point’ slides consisting of plans, alternative plans, gantt charts and technical data, all presented in a single font and black and white diagrams. Despite its very formal nature, and it been put together with the aid of enthusiasm rather than experience. The work would require that they use up some of the ship’s supply units and rare materials, but the go-ahead was given.

After some good success rolls, they got the first barbette repaired in a single day.

Initially designed to be completely independent of this, the ship’s senior command clerk Susan Maphemia, reported to one of the PCs (Imelda Thatchet, who is the ship’s purser) that usage of the ship’s vending machines was 5.3% above expected consumption levels for the previous month. After some discussion, it was realised that this was due to the machines near to the cargo bay where Sir Vanaadi had been getting her team to work on the barbettes being significantly overused, due to the engineers not having time to go and get proper meals.

This led to some protracted role playing about providing proper leadership training for Sir Vanaadi and ensuring that the entire crew was getting healthy meals. This took up more time than expected, but the players enjoyed playing off each other’s characters. Now that we have an ensemble of characters there is more this happening with a smaller group size.

The Opportunities Multiply

Other things that happened was that Kirk the XO took his boat, the Opportunities Multiply, on an excursion around the planet, and was joined by several other members of the flight crew taking out the other small craft.

Kadashi picked up a set of miniature pots to add to his art collection.

By the time the ship was refuelled, most of the crew had got some opportunity to stretch their legs off the ship, and it was ready to depart. They did manage to pick up some exotic materials to replace some of the materials they had used up in fixing the new barbettes, and started planning what they were going to do with them. The original idea had been to replace a couple of the fusion barbettes with the particle barbettes, but now the command staff want them in addition. If nothing else, it complicates the procedure and gives the crew more to do on their journey.

The time spent in jump on the way to their next destination, Pryme, was spent with engineering performing a careful examination of the front section of the ship to figure out where the best place to connect a new weapon system to was.

Seven days later, the Deepnight Revelation arrives at Pryme. Unlike the Ardasii system, Pryme has three gas giants and two ice giants, and they’d plotted a course to take them to the ice giant at Pryme V. This was a blueish world with a single set of rings and a couple of moons.

Pryme V, Ice Giant

The main reason for choosing this was that there was a research station here, investigating possible signs of an ancient civilisation. Strange formations had been discovered deep on the rock-ice core, and investigators were trying to determine if there were natural or artificial. It was also a convenient place to refuel.

Soon after they came out of jump, they received a message from the diplomatic skiff An Excess of Gravitas. It is owned by the retired admiral Ekakdiish Umukiki Sasigdu who was wanting to meet with them, though no reason was given for the meeting. Since the skiff is in the inner system, it’s going to take 9 days for them to get to the Deepnight. Whether the crew want to wait that long can be decided next session.

Samuel Penn

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