Atlantis Sector

When I plan for a session, my notes can range from a few basic sentences to remind me what I had in mind, to many paragraphs of detailed notes. Normally detailed notes are background on what is happening (or has happened – having a well defined timeline of events is something I find very useful), especially when there is a complex set of interactions between NPCs and events.

During the previous session, we were on the verge of leaving Brittia sector and heading for Atlantis. So for this session of Deepnight Revelation, I had also prepared a handout for the players so they knew what was going on aboard the ship.

1117-037: Atlantis

We have reached Atlantis sector, leaving the shores of the Great Rift far behind us. Ahead, there seems to be a number of small civilisations, many populated by humans from Terra. How they got here isn’t known, but presumably they came from the Solomani Sphere somehow.

There have also been mention of larger empires existing Rimward of here – at least two are the Commonwealth and the Federation. Whether they will be friendly or not isn’t known. There has also been mention of the Tradeport Consortium, whether this is part of one of the larger empires, or something different remains to be seen.

Ship Status

The ship continues to be in moderate health. We still have the same problems as before, but nothing is getting worse.

The jump drives are continuing to work at peak performance. The issues that were detected before we set in for repairs at the Erline worlds seem to be resolved and there are no signs of the problems resurfacing.

Navigation and Sensors

We are continuing Rimward, heading into Atlantis sector where the stellar density has reached levels common in the Imperium Core. This will make path selection a lot easier, assuming that we don’t have to avoid local polities.

There are a lot of signals coming from Rimward. They are currently too distant to pick up details, but they are coming from a volume of space several sectors in size. Though the polities don’t match the Imperium, or even the Solomani Sphere in size, they are still the largest group of civilised worlds that we have encountered since leaving Charted Space.

The bulk of these signals seem to be coming from the next sectors – Bifrost and Olympus. Atlantis is quieter, but there are signs of multi-world polities here as well. We don’t have details yet, but something called the Tradeport Consortium is meant to be up ahead.

Rumours

Jules Pettering has gone missing. The last time anyone remembers seeing him was before entering jump. He had been assigned to performing a check on the Night Runner’s jump drive just before jump. This seems to have been completed. He missed the usual post-jump poker game, but had been out of chips anyway so this wasn’t seen as unusual.

Several of the crew have claimed to have heard what sounded like singing in the corridors near the spinal mount control stations when nobody else was around. It has been put down to a practical joke.

Investigation of the snail shell has determined that it is biological in origin, though shows extensive signs of genetic engineering. The engineering is advanced, and seems to be of a different style to that used by the Ancients or the Biologicals. Some of the scientists who were investigating it though have developed painful lumps on their hands.

For this session, my notes were mostly what I’d written in the handout. Unfortunately, when the players came to start asking questions, I’d realised that I’d almost completely forgotten everything that I’d planned. Given that there were references to things that had happened before, I was sort of stuck.

Fortunately, my blogging every session turned out to be useful, and I could quickly search through my previous posts to find who was involved and what had happened.

For the missing crew member, I have only fragments of memory for what I’d planned, not enough to build a coherent story out of. This meant coming up with something new, which is hard when trying to tie multiple story threads together.

Jules Pettering was missing, and his last known location was near the rear of the ship just before Jump. Shortly after he was seen, an outside airlock was recorded as having been opened. A check of the airlock showed that the Vacc Suits nearby were all present.

Further investigation brought up video and audio of him trying to get into an unused stateroom. He seemed confused, and left a message on the room’s door intercom:

Hello? Hello? What am i doing? Please make them stop. I know where I’m going.

He had been due to marry one of the other crew members, Esxa, but the relationship had broken off. 

Searching his room and private emails, there were messages from another crew member informing him that Exsa was possibly pregnant. Zanobia called Exsa in for a checkup, along with Alfred as an interviewer (as an ex detective, he is probably the most skilled interviewer, as a telepath, he’s a very skilled interviewer).

Exsa was pregnant, and she said that Jules had come to her to make a fuss about. The father was one of the pilots, Paul Markon. After this ‘fight’, Jules left but she claimed not to know what he did after that.

Alfred, was also able to determine that Exsa had been talking to Monty Jackson, an engineer who they knew was a telepath. He had been using his abilities to win at gambling and relationships, but he wasn’t known to have the ability to plant suggestions in someone’s head – let alone get them to kill themselves.

It seems Exsa had known about Monty’s ability, and persuaded him to do something about Jules. Presumably with the threat of exposing him.

So the next interview was with Monty, who came across as overly confident. He denied everything, but gave the impression of “I know that you know, but I also know you can’t do anything”. Officially, they couldn’t out him without admitting they’d known he was a teep. Unofficially, ways were discussed about other options.

Meanwhile, technicians were taking apart the ops room for the spinal mount. After several hours, the technicians left claiming that the room was haunted.

They were hearing a tune – as if someone were whistling. But it didn’t seem to be coming from anywhere. It varied which room it could be heard in, and happened every few hours. Thinking that this might also be a telepath issue, Alfred was sent up and confirmed that with his blocks up he couldn’t hear anything. Someone was sending the tune here telepathically.

This plot sort of went sideways, since I’d forgotten my initial details. I think what I’d had in mind was something like the Battlestar Galactica plotline of the Cylons all being brought to one place by a tune. It was also going to play out over several sessions, but having a puzzle that isn’t meant to be solved until later often just causes frustration for players. I didn’t have anything properly plotted out to make it clear this was a long running thing, not a single session thing.

So in the end I moved things forward to a conclusion of sorts. Alfred, and some of the other Vargr (most of the Vargr aboard the ship seemed to be ship gunners), also sometimes smelt a hint of shit when hearing the tune.

After tearing apart the life support systems, Zanobia wondered if there was a link to the new baby (now named Lucy) who had been born from the Ancient’s artificial womb at the start of the year. Since she was that way inclined, I said that she put together a spreadsheet of all the feeding/nappy changing events for Lucy, and that there was a strong correlation with when the baby was uncomfortable and when the tune was happening.

So Lucy was a teep as well.

Final plot points were that the whistling tune was from a film that Jules liked, a Vilani remake of an old Earth film about a vengeful bride. Is this important? Maybe.

The other issue were the medical issues with the researchers. They had been put in quarantine, and the snail shell had been locked away. The three affected crew members seemed to have fragments of snail proteins in their skin, and cancerous growths had formed around them. Medication was being provided to try and cure the growths, but it would be an ongoing effort.

Something that came out of this session for me, is that I think I need to make a list of all the notable NPC crew members, and make sure that they get some ‘screen’ time on a semi-regular basis. There are some characters (especially those like the ship’s captain) who have been completely ignored, despite their importance. There are other minor ones who have been mentioned, who could do with being brought back into the story line now and again.

It was time for the ship to come out of jump, arriving in Atlantis sector, at the system of Waci Atid, location 2702.

Arriving near a gas giant, the Deepnight picked up the transponder signal from another ship. It was a non-standard protocol, but similar to old Terran codes. After a bit of decoding, the signals were determined to be from the starship Carnival of the Goat, a 2,400t Anaconda class freighter.

The players correctly identified that we were now in a computer game.

Signalling the ship, the reply was along the lines of “Greetings Deepnight Revelation, we have drugs, do you want to trade?”.

This seemed to be a low tech, low law level system, so Narcotics weren’t that big a surprise. Also, the Carnival of the Goat is the name of a scum barge in Eclipse Phase, which should give some idea of what to expect.

A while later, there was a message from a second ship, which had no broadcasting transponder and seemed to be docked with the first. “Hey, this is Clayton. If you need a guide, I’m your gal.

The second ship was smaller, about 300t. A Cobra Mk III.

Clayton’s Chariot and the Carnival of the Goat

After initially struggling with what was meant to be happening, I think things went relatively well for this session. With the introduction of Clayton, we are now getting into the main plotline of the Fat Side of Nowhere, expansion adventure 4 (of 5) for the Deepnight campaign. Whether the Travellers work with Clayton or not, they are going to start finding out about the polities here.

Image of playing Mongoose Traveller in FoundryVTT.
Playing Traveller in FoundryVTT

For a while now I’ve been running my Traveller campaign in FoundryVTT. For reasons best known to me two years ago, rather than using the TwoDSix system for Traveller, I decided to write my own Mongoose Traveller specific system. Over this time, I have had some conversations with Mongoose about releasing it. In the last few days they gave me permission to open it up to the public. As for content such as equipment, careers and other things, that is still an ongoing discussion. So for now, it will be the basic rules and skills.

I’ll do another post detailing things later. I had wanted to push something out this weekend, but after spending two days ill and not being able to do anything, this is unlikely to happen. But sometime soon there should be a release and people can try it out and provide feedback if they want.

Samuel Penn

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