Monday, October 24, 2016

Session 2, part 1

210-1104, Glisten, Spinward Marches.

The night before jumping, Dr. Duk-Lyle takes the crew to Banfi Starport to dine and the fabulous restaurant.  This was fine dining to fill up before a week of ship's food.  The restaurant was a fine establishment, with a slowly rotating floor surrounded by aquariums.  In fact, seafood was the speciality, and one could choose items from those same aquariums.  The food was exquisite. Towards the end of the meal, the party noticed some minor altercation between a couple at a nearby table.  Not particularly raucous or loud, there was, nonetheless, a fair amount of arm waving. Ferdinando recognized the two as being the Marquis Juliette Sung Ottowald of Mertcator, and Baron Brigham Fernlucky of New Rome. Both had been in the diplomatic core years before, although neither were currently in public office.

Fernlucky, a foppish younger man, stormed off in a fit of pique, but the Marquis approached the group.  A brief round of introductions, some very expensive chocolate deserts, and she left, with the hopes that they may meet again at Trane, the groups next port of call.

The group travelled back to the ship for a good nights sleep.

211-1104 -> 218-1104, in jump between Glisten and Trane

Travis, using his journeyman astrogation, plotted the jump, and with the traditional dimming of the lights, Le Suroit made a successful transition to jump space. The week passed relatively smoothly. There was a minor incident of interesting smells wafting from the main lab, and the minor calamity of running out of coffee.  Travis was studious in his studies to improve his astrographic skills, whereas Dr. Boris Duk-Lyle was constantly interrupted in his attempt to pursue his physics studies. Being the captain of the ship had a few responsibilities and more paperwork than expected.

218-1104, Trane, Spinward Marches

Travis' jump was successful, and there were near the destination plot points.  After getting cleared with Trane Starport, they approached and made orbit. There were a few other vessels in orbit, mostly traders of various sorts. Ferdinando took down the cargo in the ship's pinnance, and the starport sent up a refueling shuttle to start the refueling process.

One of the ships was another lab ship, leased by Lysani Laboratories. Quentin, one of the scientists on board, had worked for that company years before.  The donwport representative had worked previously with Quentin, and asked for a favor: the ship had not been communicating for the last few days.  Would the crew of Le Suroit be so kind as to visit and check up on them?  Shuttle service at the class C port was limited, and merchants seemed to have priority over a research vessel.

After agreeing, Dr Duk-Lyle, Travis, Quentin and Franklin successfully loaded one of their air/rafts into the pinnance, and took the hour trip over to the other lab ship.  Boris managed not to get sick - he does not have vacc suit nor zero-G.  It was similar to the scene in 2010 when Lithgow was hyperventilating.  Travis clumped along the hull, peering into the ports, and noticed light fixtures had been smashed.  After contacting the downport manager, and getting the access codes, they first attempted to get into the lab via one of the air/raft bays.  Sadly, that bay still had the air/raft clamped inside, and despite 2 tries, Travis, having the smallest vacc suit, could not get past.  Regrouping, they next went to the main lab's cargo port.  That was a successful entry, and the excursion into the new lab started.


Being close to Halloween, I decided to run Death Station.  And I managed to use the BITS 101 Rendezvous for the restaurant.

So far everyone seems to be having fun - it was 6 before I realized it, and we had to stop the play before completing that particular segment. I was hoping to have some sound affects to make the station a bit more eerie but could not find the web site in time.

Also, so far they have not done any research using the ship's computer, and they left the pinnance just hanging out there, next to an orbiting, rotating ship.  I'll be rolling to see how far off it managed to drift.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Accountants in Space. Or not.

Traveller does have a reputation of being Accounts in this is a new game, i'm bypassing that part of things in the following manner (this is important as the players have their own ship, and those are expensive to maintain)  But once the Selshor mystery has been solved, then they will have to start looking for ways to keep up the ship.

As for the financial state of things, in character:

The scientists are getting paid either by GLIPS or the Scouts, so for the next few months that is not a financial concern.  The ship supplies (life support, maintenance, etc) will either be handled via the Scout bases on the way, or via the to-be-determined ship's vault that has a stash of credits in it.  Dr Duk-Lyle is the only one with access to the vault, and it does carry significant cash reserves as well as credit sticks.  The crew (Ferdinando, Franklin) are also currently salaried by the Scouts and GLIPS, again for a few months (not sure yet when the contracts will expire, and then you will either offer them a job or find new crew).

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Le Suroit

The Lab Ship, your standard 400 ton lab ship, is named Le Suroit.  Part of the supplies in the ship include several lab coats and light cloth jackets.  On the lab coats, the ship  patch is on the left breast, on the jackets on the left shoulder.  The patches are the same except for the border: crew jackets have a red outline and science has blue.

Going through the staterooms, starting next to the bridge.

9 is Travis' room, as he is the pilot and expected to be available.

10 is currently empty; normally the navigator's room.

11 is Dr Duk-Lyle, taking the normal medic's stateroom, as well as being close to the bridge.

12 is Ferdinando's stateroom. On inspection, he has two duty coveralls with the appropriate patches, several sets of formal wear, a few sets of what he calls informal wear yet is expensive and hand tailored.  Also hanging up is his Navy dress blues in a protective bag.

38 is Franklin's stateroom.  His Naval uniform is hanging up as well, but not in a protective bag.  He has a couple of the standard issue ship coveralls, work out clothes, well worn comfortable casual clothes. He also has cloth armor without the ship's insignia, and on closer inspection you can see that it is smart fabric as well, allowing for limited chameleon-like attributes.  He also has a small locked arms case with small body pistol, and hanging on the wall is a rapier.  A case of beer is also sitting in the bottom of his closet.

26 is Purity Truth's stateroom.  Her room is extremely neat, with few personal items.  Her clothing is functional and bland.

27 is Quentin's stateroom. He has various archeological studies scattered about, his clothing, while clean, is somewhat shabby and wrinkled.

29 is Tricia Odonnel's stateroom. She has the usual array of clothing, everything is neatly in it's place. On her desk is the safety manual for Le Suroit, looking well worn. 

30 is currently empty, a standard stateroom with a bunk bed, small desk, and personal fresher.

31 has apparently been converted to a gym: a compact exercise machine takes up most of the space.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Post Game Session 1, part 2

Dr Boris Duk-Lyle has promoted Sir Ferdinando Depallia as second in command, and tasked him with assembling the dossiers of his fellow crew.

Meanwhile, Le Suroit is on-loading additional scientific gear, as well as some Scout cargo.

Lab Ship Notebook

Some metagaming info:  John has mentioned that we may get one more player, so there is plenty of room for more people before we leave at the next session.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Game Session 1

The first gaming session was a bit slow in some ways as we started to explore the characters, and get a feel for what everyone wanted to do.  There are 2 players, and each managed to roll up a character with a ship.  Rather than taking one away, my initial plan for play with a single player borrowed from an adventure I've read about.

Travis, recently mustered out from the Scouts, and Dr. Duk-Lyle, recently retiring from his career at various scientific and medical institutions but most recently from GLIPS (Glisten Institute of Planetary Studies) met in the office of the Scout Director. Alongside was the vice president of GLIPS, with an offer for them both.

GLIPS was to give a lab ship, Le Suroit,  to Dr. Duk-Lak for his years of service and for research.  There were two conditions involved in this: first was the standard contract for returning to Glisten every 18 months to upload any data and research done by the ships crew and scientists. The second was to venture to Selshor, a Red Zone world outside Imperial space, the recover the Katydid, a Scout ship that was lost there.  The official Scout version is that the ship crashed. This contrasts with the story of one of the Scout crew who returned to Glisten believing sabotage was to blame.  The Katydid crashed just six months ago.  Travis will take the Scout as Detached Duty as soon as he can get the ship.

Both accepted the job, and were introduced to Le Suroit, a standard 400 dTon Lab ship. After meeting the crew and the scientists who had also recently boarded, Travis and Franklin headed to Glisten City, to visit the Blue Turtle, a bar Franklin seemed to go to often.  A few drinks later and he was starting to be belligerent to the Naval personnel there; fortunately Travis managed to parley the situation down, and pilot the shuttle back to the lab ship.  In the meantime, Boris was doing any research on the crew and scientists to see if there was going to be any character conflicts or issues he needed to be aware of

Le Suroit:

Travis (John's character) is the lead pilot / astrogator, Dr Duk-Lyle (Thomas' character) is the medic and has basic command over the vessel. There are 2 additional crew members and three scientists on board.

Franklin is the ships gunner, mechanic, security and back up pilot. An ex-Naval officer with a grudge against the Imperial Navy, and cannot apparently hold on to his liquor. A short, young man of 34, he has a relaxed attitude and talks to everyone.

Ferdindando Depallia is a former Naval officer as well, who transferred into the world of diplomacy.  Having a Vilani background as well as coming from noble parents, he is the primary engineer on hand. He has an upper class accent, is always polite, and dresses impeccably. He is also very fond of tradition.

Quenten "IQ" Sotherby is the youngest scientist on board. Seemingly reclusive as he spends a lot of time on his data pad, he can be quite passionate when you get on the subject of archeology.  He entered school after 4 years as a field researcher, he tended to party a bit too much in college.  He did graduate, then joined the Scouts in the Survey branch, and is part of the mission to Selshor.

Purity Truth is the only woman on board, and an Aslan as well. She was the primary investigator at Travis' accident, but is also a scientist, dealing mostly with physics and planetology. She is aloof, has  a low tolerance for light banter, and seems somewhat clumsy.

Dr Francine Occa is the lead planetologist of the science group, and is the Scout to have returned from Selshor.  She went to the Imperial University at Glisten but there was a scandal about a prank gone horribly wrong. She graduated and did 8 years of field research before getting stranded.  She returned, and joined the Scouts, and three years later she crashed on Selshor in the Katydid.

I'll be generating the public NPC dossiers at some point.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

MTU - My Traveller Universe

The basics of My Traveller Universe

Pretty much a vanilla clone of the OTU (Original Traveller Universe).

Start date is 1104, a year before the 5th Frontier War, so giving us some play time before anything major happens.

The Imperium is a vast feudal system, mostly harmless, neither good nor bad. Among the 11,000 worlds it controls, some are good, some are evil.  It is still a feudal style system, run by the nobles.  While a few are elevated to nobility for various deeds, most of the actual ruling nobles are hereditary. There are a lot of bureaus and groups in the government, some highly competent, some not so much. Pretty much reflecting our world.

Technology is as per Classic Travaller mostly: the shotguns in space is still a good description. Energy weapons are available at higher tech levels, with varying degrees of power requirements.  There are no force fields, tractor beams, light sabers - this is not Star Trek or Star Wars. Psionics are possible, but I keep with the Imperium's distrust of those with mind powers.  I also use Classic rules for those, so they are not particularly useful.

Everything is still speed of jump: a jump can cover 1-6 parsecs per week.  Larger jumps require larger amounts of fuel: 10% of ship volume per parsec.  So high-jump craft don't have as much space.  Communication between systems is via ships carrying the messages.  The X-Boat route is of more historical than current relevance: while still used, there are enough other ships moving about that sometimes it may be faster via private courier.

I run a small ship universe.  There are big ships out there, but they are not as common. Ships are still expensive, but there are a lot.  I'm leaning towards GURPS Traders for ship traffic - even if they are expensive, they do last a long time. Ships are tough.

Computers and communications are more up to date than Classic - going with Mongoose or T5 rules probably. True Artificial Intelligence starts emerging at TL 14 or so, but until then it is more a very good simulation. Robots are not particularly common or uncommon - not nearly as common as Star Wars, but more of a background sort of thing.  Think of Roombas.

I'm not a gearhead, so I won't be detailing a lot of the ships, vehicles and things out.  While I do like Classic High Guard for ship designs, things will work at the speed of plot for the most part.

Within the Imperium, the credit rules. I've basically a tamper-proof Imperial credit card so that transactions are easier to deal with. Outside the Imperium, credits may or may not be accepted, and cash is king there.  More likely it will be trading goods or services to get things purchased.  So try and plan ahead: you may not be able to eat on the next world unless you bring along cold, hard cash.  Gems, rare metals may not be worth anything either, so some initial research may be needed.

As for languages, most systems speak Anglic. A few die-hards still speak Vilani. Universal translators do exist, and get better at higher tech levels. But only for known languages: a completely unknown language will take time to learn even with machine intelligence. 

Standard aliens (Aslan, Vargr, Droyne, Hivers, K'Kree) are all there, along with a multitude of minor races. This is mostly a human-centric universe, at least in the Imperium.  But strange new worlds are out there.

I'll be using mostly Mongoose 2e rules, with a smattering of T5 things in there.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Refereeing a new game

Looks like I managed to drag John into a game of Traveller. We're using the Mongoose 2e version for character generation, and he survived 1 1/2 terms of being a Scout until a severe injury forced him out of the service. However, he managed to ace his mustering out roll and has a Scout ship on loan.

I'm placing the mustering out at Glisten (link) which is close to the edge of Imperial space.  He will be exploring strange new worlds.

All links to the game I'll try and stick a label (current game) so that if I actually use this blog, any players can keep up.  This will only be public info, so no referee only info.

Here is John's character (which has not yet been named: John

Here is a draft of the ship papers: ISS Scout Ship

And sometime soon I'll generate a brief synopsis of MTU.