Friday, January 31, 2020

Traveller Combat

Traveller combat started off very D&D like: your armor affected how easy it is to hit you, but damage was not adjusted. So a sufficiently dexterous and skilled knife wielder could take down someone in powered armor. Over the years, several versions of combat came up. Here is a (very) brief synopsis of the ones I've actually used.

Classic combat, of course. I was never happy with that as I always thought armor should help absorb damage. Later, I understood that this was a simple abstraction. To hit required looking up a matrix of weapon versus armor, so that every weapon had a different chart essentially. Of course, Traveller was written by wargamers, so charts were the normal way of handling things at the time. Ranges were also more abstracted out, and maps were not really needed.

Snapshot the board game made it a grid-based system but was essentially Traveller combat played with action points based on the characters dexterity and endurance. As with classic (if I recall) both are 15 second rounds. The lowest AP actually goes first, but higher AP characters can go before if they choose. This gives higher AP (DEX + END) characters more control over the situation as they have more choices as to when to act. Movement and actions are all the same in terms of player turns.

Striker came out as a miniatures game, with extensive vehicle and weapon building rules. This version, while more suited for miniature wargames, is what I ended up using more for combat. The basic 8+ to hit and armor absorbing the damage made more sense to me. And I really enjoyed creating fusion powered vehicles for some reason: it was the vehicle version of High Guard.

I never played Megatraveller, but I believe it was more or less classic. Could be entirely wrong.

While I also have most of GURPS Traveller, I never got it for the rules, but for the fluff. Although Far Trader was, I thought, really good if you wanted a big ship universe. As I prefer a small ship universe, I usually just divided those trade values (cargo tonnage, passengers) by 10 or so.

Mongoose Traveller uses armor as damage soaks and maintains the 8+ to hit. It has some additional rules for reactions, and breaks things into significant and minor actions. Initiative is determined by choice of INT or DEX and use the effect as the initiative order. Effect is basically the difference between the target roll (8) and the roll. A negative effect is possible obviously. See p59 as with no index, the Mongoose v2 book makes things harder to find than it should. Did not realize there was no index until the middle of a game, and as I don't have the book memorized or bookmarked...

Traveller 5, or T5, uses dice pools and a fairly complex set of things to figure out to determine the to hit target. However, I think once you dig into the T5.10 rules, it is actually explained a bit better, and there are some really good ideas in there. Part of the modifiers for the to hit include the distance and the size of the target: a huge target far away is easier to hit than a much smaller target closer.

I'll be presenting the Snapshot & Mongoose summaries for combat next session and we can decide ahead of time which version they would like to play. They all have basically cloth armor on so that will help either way - harder to hit or absorbs damage.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Big Wreck - Session 3, the Heist

Session 3 did cover the week in jump. The players observed the patterns and behaviors of crew and passengers, particularly around Zandra. They found there were at least two, probably more, additional agents of some sort keeping constant surveillance on her stateroom as well as her. She followed a pattern of behaviors, going to the pool each morning and the gym, then gambling and strolling about the Promenade Deck. They also discovered, that after observation, Zandra wore some sort of wrist sheath, almost a bracer, that appeared to hold the device. And she wore it the entire time, except, it turns out, during her morning swims.

The corridor around her stateroom was under constant watch, but a new friend of the Commander, an ex-Navy Captain, had the adjoining room. With the additional gifts found in the Traveller's staterooms, they had some additional tools for the heist.

Handprint Collector: a square of smart-cloth that can lift and reproduce finger prints. Usually found with forensic personnel in various police agencies. It comes with a small hand computer that can store the prints as well as reset the smartcloth to show the prints. There are thermal sensors as well that can act to record and recreate the thermal properties if the print is lifted soon enough.  Cr450 but restricted by law to police and investigators only.

HandPrint Glove: The handprint glove may be used with handprint collector computer to simulate the handprint of most lifeforms. It also comes in Alsan fitted gloves. Simulates the print and thermal properties as well, allowing for bypassing many biometric security systems

Area Scanner The area scanner looks like a large tablet with a translucent viewing area. Using a combination of ultra-wide frequencies, thermal, acoustic and radio, it can 3D map an adjacent room through most materials. While it cannot penetrate hull or armored bulkheads, most interior walls in buildings and spacecraft may be penetrated. It can track lifeforms as long as they are above the ambient temperature of the area they are in. Illegal on any LL3+ world, it is often used in police and military forces. It has 18 hours worth of recording time, and can burst-transmit the data for a range of about 2 kilometers, less in densely urban areas.

Several days go by as they get better observations. Rand sneaks into the ship's laundry and manages to steal a steward and security officer's uniform using his steward ID card, and bypassing some of the biometric system. Santiago and Kelya get into the Captain's room while he is out gambling away his retirement funds, and get a deep scan of Zandra's stateroom, finding the room safe in the wall between the fresher and the seating area.  They manage somehow to get back out without getting noticed, though a huge Aslan sneaking about is always an interesting image.

By now we're in mid-week, 3 days left in jump. They decide to see if they can make the switch to give themselves a bit of a buffer if it takes more than one time. During Zandra's morning swim, they decide to make the attempt. While Kelya, wearing the security officer uniform, distracts the observer, Santiago and Rand, using Santiaga's Asaln-sized fingerprint system, gain access to Zandra's room. Knowing that the steward that normally cleans the room while she swims will notice the room has been entered again so will not do a cleanup, they get to the safe. Using Santiaga's security card override, they easily get into the safe and make the switch. Getting back out unobserved, Kelya finishes his distraction and they all meet back up in Santiago's stareroom.

The remainder of the jump goes by, and they come out in Antquity space. A few leisurely hours of majestic flight and they arrive at the highport. Declining the King Richard's shuttles, they book a private ships boat to get access to the L7 Bar. The L7 is the rendezvous for the handoff. They make contact, pie-based passwords and counter passwords are exchanged, and we're left hanging out at the L7.

So, the heist was successful. But there needs to be a bit of combat, and bar fights are always appreciated by everyone but the bar owners. We've decided we may use the Snapshot rules for combat. What I plan on doing (and there will be another post) is see if I can develop a 1 page combat summary/flowchart for both Snapshot and Mongoose rules. Giving us a cheat sheet may be useful.

I do have some plans based on the poster plans for the L7 Bar and Landing pad.

Plans are for the next few posts: combat overview and comparison of Snapshot vs Mongoose, and maybe a post of Traveller character advancement that came up during the week (the default is character advancement is pretty much better toys, but there are always alternatives). And of course, a Fantasy trip post should be soon as well as we should be playing this weekend.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Big Wreck - Antiquity

While the next session should probably finish up the King Richard arc, I need to start thinking about Antquity. While it is far too easy to come up with a generic planet so that they all seem the same, we are talking entire worlds, and in fact, entire systems. You could spend years just poking around one system. And of course, I do tend to overprepare.

Regardless, based on the TravellerMap web site (which also has a very beautiful print result - see below), we have some interesting information on Antiquity.

A high tech world with a thin tainted atmosphere and a zero law level leads us to all sorts of potential mischief. Now, just because there are no prohibitions does not mean there are no laws. But it does mean that pretty much anything could be made available.

However - actions may have repurcussions. Sure, you can carry around a man-portable fusion gun (well, depending on your version of Traveller) but firing it and causing damage to life and structures may have compensation laws for those bereaved, and fines and jail time for damaging property. I'll have to work out something to get a good hand out to let the players know that yes, then can get all sorts of toys here. But no, random murder hobos are probably going to get into trouble, probably shot by other murdering hobos!

With such a small population (20,000) there may be a lot of automation as well.

Per the Wiki (and probably public info is as per the sheet below, which will be a handout to the players; the TAS may have additional details and at least 1 character does have a TAS membership, so I will generate an additional info sheet for that):
Antiquity/Ian (Corridor 0816)  A423420-C
System Details: Primary: F6 V, Planetoid Belts 1, Gas Giants 4
  • Antiquity is a poor, nonindustrial world.
  • As a nonindustrial world, it requires extensive imports of outside technology to maintain a modern, star-faring society. The need to import most manufactured and high technology goods drives the price of these goods up in the open market.
  • This world has few prospects for economic development.
  • This world contains an archaeological site with suspected high-tech remnants of the now-vanished Ancients precursor race.
  • This a "high technology" world with technology achievements at, near, or over technology standards for Charted Space.
  • It is a member of the Third Imperium in the Ian Subsector of Corridor Sector in the Domain of Vland.
  • This world has a nearby Imperial Naval Base, capable of handling warships.
  • During the Long Night, this world was named Askizan.
And some of my images which I will work into a form and then we will all ignore it. And I still need to get a notebook - my printouts got all out of order last session. I know we've a few of them down here someplace!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Big Wreck - Session 2

On board the King Richard, the ship loads the last passengers and moves off at 1G acceleration to the 100 diameter limit, flanked by the two Morningstar attack vessels, the high port and Strand slowly growing smaller in the rear monitors. Our Travellers mill about and people watch, the lights dim dramatically as they make the imperceptible transition to jump space, the wide ports now showing a simulated starscape.

A luxurious First Meal is prepared, and seating is as follows.

Ngol, our Vargr who is now an ex-Scout (due to the player misplacing his character sheet) is actually seated next to Zandra and carries on quite a conversation with her, getting a feel for the daughter of Solomani political figures. The Alsan Santiago and our Naval Commander Kelya Pogonios are seated next to Sir Heimlich and his niece, Glorinolsia Grumblestone, of the Grumblestone Distillery Corporation. They are sipping the finest of peary. The Aslan was not pleased. The journalist who became a field researcher, Rand Hallan, was seated next to a young newly wed couple but close enough to overhear any conversation at the next table.

Watching the crowds, Santiago sees a few people who may be paying more attention to the striking blond and her Vargr dinner mate but not enough to tell just how interested despite his investigative skill. Rand pays attention to any ticks and facial clues Zandra may give off, utilizing his psychology 3 skill. Eventually Zandra retires to her stateroom, and the others meet up in Rand's room after discovering the gifts the Bureau had managed to get into their rooms. Now that I am thinking of it, there well could be additional Imperial agents on board.

Discovering that their tools will allow them access to Zandra's stateroom, they then start wandering the ship, meeting other guests, and seeing if there are any security issues, agents or others watching the SolSec agent. What they do find is that the hallways are apparently never empty, particularly the hallway near Zandra's stateroom. In a few hours of observation while wandering, Santiago sees there are at least 2 people with an interest in her room. Commander Pogonios meets and makes friends with a Naval Captain, retired, and the discuss Navy doctrine and pass along gossip. One of the pieces of gossip is about the Navy having reports of a ship jumping in-system then jumping out a couple of weeks later but never coming to any planet. So far it appears random (planting some seeds for future games, oh yeah) The captain, leaving his glass of champagne behind, excuses himself and goes to his stateroom, one that is next to Zandra's room. The glass gets picked up by Kelya and later, in Rand's room, Santiago uses his fingerprint scanner to retrieve the prints and adds them to the device's system. As the ship uses handprints for access, they now have access to the room next to Zandra. They have yet to get her prints.

There was also a bit of shopping in the ship stores, and the room scanner is now in a stylish courier bag with a subtle King Richard logo on it, and the Vargr stopped by the tobacco shop and picked up a pipe and a tobacco native to Strand that has an oddly appealing aroma to it despite Strand's atmosphere having heavy Sulphur compounds tainting the atmosphere.

Additional plans were made, and then they went to their own staterooms to sleep.

So in summary, we only covered a few hours of no combat, but a lot of set up and meeting people. While some are inconsequential for the most part, fleshing out the ship seems like a good idea. I am thinking of making a bartender named Isaac.

As we've actually another 6 days in jump, we may "jump" a bit in time, covering a few days at a time as they see if Zandra follows a schedule, if they can get her prints, all that. I figure we can play out the rest of the jump next session and, assuming they can get the communication device, arrive at Antiquity by end of that session. Meaning I need to dig into that world as well. I did notice it was law level 0 according to the physical map so that opens up all sorts of violent options. Law level 0  no prohibitions, and a participating democracy of 30,000 or so. Per Heinlein, a well-armed society is a polite society. We shall see!

Fantasy Trip - Werewolf Ring

Werewolf Ring

Crafted centuries ago by the werewolf wizard Valgard Mrithsio, this ring is one of the werewolf folks' treasured artifacts. When worn by a natural born werewolf, the progeny of two werewolves, this ring allows the werewolf to transform at any time into wolf form without making the IQ roll. And it allows the werewolf to retain his IQ rather than making it half. It takes 6 combat rounds to make the transformation, which includes times to remove the characters clothing so as to not get entangled when in wolf form. Normal werewolf rules apply to combat as per the Fantasy Trip (p82) while in the wolf form.

For non-werewolves, the ring, once put on, cannot be removed. The character will turn wolf on the three nights of the full moon, and must make a 4D roll against IQ the first time to avoid attacking his companions. As per the original werewolf description, the character's IQ is one half (rounding up, no less than 6) when in wolf form. Werewolf form will heal 1 point of existing damage every 4 rounds instead of two. Knock/Lock spell will allow the ring to be removed.

If the character keeps the ring, the 3rd month he will accrue the normal healing 1 point per two rounds, but will still lose half his IQ on transformations.

For my werewolves, it is the three nights centered on the full moon that the involuntary transformations occur.

Summary of Valgard's Werewolf Ring:
For existing werewolves, no IQ roll to transform to or from wolf form, and the IQ is not affected.
For non-werewolves. it will bump the DX by 3 but the character will transform into a werewolf on the three nights centered on the full moon. Healing is only half of the normal werewolf rules for the first two months, then normal rules apply, including the drop in IQ.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

The Big Wreck - bit more game prep

I did a bit more game prep, then also looked through some of the miniature board games I have, and realized I have a plethura of minis that could be used in the game. I may have to drag them out. I have some different ideas now about Act 3...

Here is an attempt to embed the still WIP PDF (they are always WIP!)
And here is an attempt at a direct link: PDF link to OneDrive. For some reason COTI has issues with the PDFs despite them being within the file size limitations.

The Fantasy Trip - Side Adventure Turns Deadly

What was supposed to be a not too difficult side-quest ended up in the 1st character death in the Dragraffe Chapter of Adventures.

Binky managed to get a stone lodged in his hoof, fortunately, the recently renamed Nova, half-Elf, has vet, and they managed to dislodge the stone, but Binky would need a day of two of rest. They found the town of Thistlewaite by the end of the day, with a happy inn and space to put the cart, hippogryph and dragraffe. Farmers and merchants from the surrounding area had come in, as that's what you do with the inn in more than a day's travel. While Crut and Hans managed to distract and steal a merchant's purse, the rest of the group ate good stew. Other than Granite, who ate a few rocks. A gargoyle never goes hungry if there are rocks about!

At this point we are using the Clockwork Tower adventure, one of five in a Kickstarter I backed for The Fantasy Trip. I won't spoil the adventure here, but it does slot in nicely with the overarching adventure we are on and makes for a good side trip.

One of my techniques when gaming is that if they spend too much time goofing off or not paying attention, something bad happens. Generally slimes drop from the ceiling,  or a wandering monster comes by. This time it was one of the more deadly encounters in the adventure. In fact, the adventure itself calls out for this: if the adventurers are spending too much time in this very cavern they were in, send in the next couple of encounters! So I did.

Of course, Runt Gubbler was in the back of the room, in the only entrance, and he heard them coming up the corridor. A look of pure terror, and the need for new pants arose as he saw the pony-sized creature approaching him. Being a small Goblin, this thing was taller than he was! He immediately whimpers for help as well as casting a high-strength lightening bold at the thing! It gets hit hard but is still attacking him, with two attacks per turn. Fortunately he had recently purchased some enchanted cloth armor, depleting is silver but in this case, saving his life. Hans managed a stab at the beast but did little additional damage. Next round the Runt Gubbler disengages and Hans makes an attack. Somehow he missed, and then the beast lit into him and actually killed him. The most sad part about this was that there was only 1 hit point left: had he hit the thing, this tale would have ended a good bit differently. Eventually the rest of the group kills off the creatures (there were 2 more behind this big one).

I broke out my stamp of death (another Kickstarter, and hey, I got to use a stamp!) and we marked up poor Hans character sheet. And he was getting very interesting, what with that werewolf ring. The player has had a series of bad rolls: he kept rolling a 14 against a 13DX, making it even more poignant.

The player will play the NPCs along with me the next session - we should be able to finish that particular adventure and get back to Thistlewaite, where there may be a passing mercenary or whatever character he comes up with.

I'll have to remember to break out the adventure complete stamps for the survivors. If there are any...

Now, well I felt bad about a character dying, it does point out that this game (and Traveller) are actually pretty deadly. There are consequences to your actions. I don't think this group would be good for the Blackest of Deaths RPG where you are about guaranteed to die in gruesome fashion (my other group, why yes, that may be a great game for them!)

And alas, no notebook, nor for tomorrow's Traveller game. 

Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Fantasy Trip - side adventure

I am also going to run a side-adventure for the group into a pre-written adventure that I have: The Clockwork Tower as published by Steve Jackson games. Written for a party of 4 32 point characters they should be able to handle it. Poor Binky, the hippogryph pulling the cart, will get a stone and need a day or so of rest to get it cleaned up and taken care of. They group will be approaching Thistlewaite and decide to bed down there for the evening. Then just follow the adventure. It has its own special megahexes to match the adventure, so it will be well mapped out. We'll see how an actual adventure plays out - as there are a few others in that book I can fit into my world, it may all work out. I just need to update the map to include the town of Thistlewaite, and may use the town map supplied. But the advantage is that this adventure also gives some pricing info that fit well within the context of the current game, plus magic potions that they players may not know exist (well, I didn't either as we are all exploring the game)

And if I need a trail image, I took one of the pictures I took in Alaska and sort of made it into a line-drawing. Not entirely happy but it does give a nice feel for a haunted trail at least.
Maybe more of a lithograph feel. But this could easily be the trail they follow to the tower of the adventure.

And still thinking about expanding a bit on the Grass Clans, as well as the Puddlejumpers. 

And I need to remember to pack the new stuff and the gargoyle minis I do have. I always seem to forget something. 

Thursday, January 16, 2020

The Big Wrreck - partial passenger list

I am working on a passenger list for the ship, along with some possibly useful game information. I realize that not all players want to do a heist game (and Act 3 does get into some serious action I am thinking), so need to spice up the second act, the King Richard to getting to the titular Big Wreck.

I am also a big proponent of cross-pollination with other games, so I've brought in the nemesis of one of the player's from the Fantasy Trip game, now a Traveller parallel. I'll have to expand out the Grumblestone Distillery, producers of the most excellent pear brandy.

What I also may do is figure out how to play those characters: one of the helpful things over on COTI was to picture the NPC as a TV character or something, and play the character that way. And I am still planning on getting a notebook (I must have a dozen around here somewhere!) to get organized, with sections for NPCs, corporations, locations. Eventually I'll get good at this stuff!

There are more passengers I am working on. Most of the names came from a random SF name generator so I picked a few each of male & female, then randomly assigned careers based on the Traveller careers I have rules for. But all this is in prep for session 2 in a few days. I will have to print up a bit of this so I have it handy, as well as come up with what the Bureau managed to slip into the characters bags to help with this adventure.

Passengers on-board

A brief description of some of the fellow passengers. If there is a reaction role indicated, it is used when meeting the characters for the 1st time and will maintain that level of reaction to them the rest of the trip. Skills that may apply to the adventure are listed as well.

Sir Heimlich Thunderanvil of Teras, uncle and caretaker to Glori Grumblestone of the Grumblestone Distillery Corporation. He accompanies is niece as she inspects their holdings on various worlds. Always carries a small utility knife, and is short and dour, with a great bushy beard. Reaction: -2 to any male human close to Glori’s age (24; so any male 18-30). Melee-3, Knife-3, Recon-1

Glorirnolsia Grumblestone of Teras, heir to the Grumblestone Distillery Corporation holdings. She is an active board member and takes luxurious trips to inspect holdings and scout for new worlds to expand on. Also short but far from dour. Reaction:  +2 Admin-3, Languages-3 (knows a couple Aslan languages, Gvegh, Zhodani)

Hank Sabine, an ex-Imperial Naval officer, retired and doing the grand tour of his bucket list. Friendly to other Naval characters and loves to talk about the good old days. Reaction to military, ex-military: +2, others: +0. Computer-3, Admin-2

Galen Ryen, adventurer and relic hunter who specializes in Ancient artifacts. He has illegally sold more than one for huge profits and is on his way to see what he can uncover on Antiquity. Computer-2, Forgery-2, has a lockpick set for high tech locks

Augustus Rackham, a belter who made it rich in the outer Belt of Strand and is blowing a huge wad of credits. Reaction: +2 to fellow gamblers if met at tables. Zero-G 2, Melee-2

Lynwood Hames, entertainer. One of the live shows on the ship but quite friendly and likes to mingle with the little people. Reaction: +4

Weldon Racine, ex-Merchant. Finally made his last big deal, and is going on a retirement cruise. Reaction: +2 to any merchant characters. Admin-2, Advocate-2, Steward-2

Hoyt Jammer, bored Noble, 4th son of a Marquis and is paid to stay away. Open for all sorts of hijinks and carries around the family cutlass. Reaction: +2 to military personnel, -2 to working class people

Arron Faulknen, local Strand politician, visiting Antiquity to bolster the intraworld Ancient information network. Has 2 aides with him.

Avery Haught, an escort, returning home after 2 years as a paid escort for a Strand noble. All expenses paid return trip. Carousing-3

Dewitt Warwick, an Ancient scholar, shuttling between Antiquity and Strand. Working on a sequel to her best seller, tome, Ancients: Facts and Myths.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020


Just a quick update - last Fantasy Trip session some of the players were drawing. Here is the dragraffe from the half-Elf with the unpronounceable name:
It reminds me of my college days playing - we spent a lot of time drawing characters, ships, vehicles, everything. While the internet gives us a surplus of available art I feel the games can be so much more immersive when you do your own thing, have your own idea of what things look like. Most of my stuff comes from poking around and I try but usually fail to give proper credit as sometimes it is hard to find where the images came from, but a lot of the things are from my own head, such as the made up on the spot grass clans and a few other things. And maps - love me some maps! I even drew (badly) a hand-drawn treasure map the group found last game they seemed to like. Of course in a fantasy world, all maps are hand drawn!

A lot of the games my group does are from published adventures. Since I've started playing and GMing again, I've run a couple of published adventures. They are handy and easy, but I've usually sandboxed them in a larger game. The current Fantasy Trip game & Traveller game are both mostly my own design. For the Fantasy Trip that is working pretty well, Traveller I am not entirely convinced yet.

Anyway, stream of consciousness post without a lot of meat. I do want to have a few posts exploring both the Traveller universe and the fantasy world. Hoping to have a "travelling on a luxury liner" post to help my fellow players get a bit more immersed on board the King Richard, and I think I can expand out on the grass clans (I see grassland schooners tacking over the hills, with a rich trade to woods people for lumber in exchange for exquisite grass baskets that may have a touch of magic in them, or even throw in some stone beetle rocks. I do like to incorporate a lot of my resources. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The Big Wreck - Session 1

Not quite as exciting or fun, yet we covered some important ground. The players met with the bureau chief and accepted the job, along with Cr25000 to start with for their shopping needs. Exiting, they run into a drunk Sir Francois Beaurevoi who has a luxury line of clothing. He convinces the group to go to his store and they get outfitted with some nice clothes to better fit into the King Richard. These are very special indeed and are the equivalent of cloth, via a spidersilk armor (stolen from the series of books that I now cannot recall the name of!)

Then they head back to where they are staying at, get up at the crack of dawn to get on board the King Richard via the private shuttle port over on Concourse 43. They get through security just fine, and get to the King Richard. In hindsight, I wish I had written the following before I ran the session:

The approach is similar to the work pod from the original Star Trek movie: the shuttle approaches from below the King Richard, and does a graceful loop about the prow of the ship. The promenade deck is well lit and individuals can be seen walking about. The pilot gives a brief tour of the ship as they pass by each deck, starting with the fuel and engineering deck. To recap from the PDF and going from the lowest deck:
“Here you can see the King Richard, PEL’s foremost luxury liner. The engineering deck as seen here houses the engines and the fuel necessary for our travels amongst the stars. While this next deck is called the Dull Deck, it never is. All passengers have equally posh staterooms. Your checked baggage is on this deck, safe and secured. The pool deck features luxurious pools, tanning lights that are cancer-free, and spacious gyms to cater to any of your sporting needs. The Main Deck, while having the most passengers, also has the King’s Casino. If you look, you can see your fellow passengers already winning big! The Promenade Deck has shops to delight you as well as the Queen’s Dining Room, where you may feast on meals created by the system’s greatest chefs. Our Theater Deck houses premier concert facilities as well as holographic screens with the highest of detail. While not as exciting as the passenger areas, the next two decks house the staff and crew, eager to cater to your every whim. And toppig off is the Bridge Deck. There are tours available when you sign up. And coming up now you can see the port shuttle bay. And if you look to either side, you can see our two Morningstar Escort craft. Please fasten your seatbelts and prepare to board the King Richard!”
Location ~ Beaurevoi’s Clothing of Distinction
This shop is the premier version of Francois’ chain of clothing stores for the discerning buyer. Extremely well-crafted and perfectly tailored clothing for a range of events, the secret lining of spidersilk gives it the equivalent of cloth armor. The buyer stands in front of what appears to be a 3-way mirror but is in fact a holo-imaging system that also measures the person, then creates a perfect avatar of that person wearing the clothes that Francois or his associates believes would “personally enhance any function you attend.” Colors and styles from hundreds of worlds are available, and Sir Francois has been known to purchase clothing designs from across the sector for a good price. The resulting clothing is indistinguishable from regular clothing in terms of line, fit and movement, yet provides cloth armor protection. Behind the shop are the artificiers, or makers, that do most of the actual cut, sew and printing of the clothing. Clothes can be ready within the hour.
Sir Francois, despite appearances, was once an Imperial agent, and sometimes works with the current bureaus. Seeing the group enter the private area of the bar with Chas, he figures that they could use some additional equipment. None of this is revealed to the players and he comes across as a drunken noble wanting to sell more clothing.
Costs are pretty high—Cr3000 to Cr5000 depending on style and the size. Our Aslan player is quite large and had a larger bill.

New equipment that Santiego will find in his luggage:
Handprint Collector: a square of smart-cloth that can lift and reproduce finger prints. Usually found with forensic personnel in various police agencies. It comes with a small hand computer that can store the prints as well as reset the smartcloth to show the prints. There are thermal sensors as well that can act to record and recreate the thermal properties if the print is lifted soon enough. Cr450 but restricted by law to police and investigators only.

I need to also be better prepared in terms of organization. So a notebook it will be soon.

And the stewards apparently look like this (at least the female ones):

Monday, January 13, 2020

The Fantasy Trip - Puddlejumpers

As I named this area almost 40 years ago in college, I cannot recall what I was thinking for this. Most of the areas named on my various maps were created directly out of the minis I had just bought (buy some minis, make a map of where they are from. Good times!). 

In the current incarnation, the land of the Puddlejumpers is the junk-drawer of magic. Wild magic abounds, and it is a an area of low hills, fens, marshes, wetlands and interesting denizens that are fleeing to a place where they can just be themselves. There are roving bands of hunters of all sorts as well, and fell creatures that would as soon kill you as see you. Treasures are rumored to be in there, and magic users across the area often go there for those special ingredients that can grow or be found nowhere else.

Elementals are not uncommon, golems and other wizardly constructs are all over, and rumors of skeleton armies are less rumor and more fact. Fortunately a lot of those with various armies tend to fight each other rather than the conquest of other lands.

Pure power stones can sometimes be found, bypassing the cost and time of creating them. Old manses exist, falling apart like houses in the Bayeux here on Earth. Spanish moss, slime moss and fairy moss hang in huge garlands from the trees, Am Bushes and bloodtrees have entire groves to themselves, littered with skeletons that have not risen from a sorcerers' casting. Witches in huts with chicken legs are known to wander about.

I'll have to come up with a fun random encounter list here, and possibly include some things from the Deck of Silly Treasures and other PDFs. One of the people I give a bit to on Patreon produces a wide range of interesting monsters, mostly D&D stats but applicable to any game with a bit of work, so I'll go through those as well. For instance, JH Illos has the following creature that should be a fun encounter! While I don't give much, I think the Patreon idea is a good idea: you back people to let them try creative things they may not otherwise be able to do. And over the years I've "borrowed" a lot of images and things from the webs, so if I can help a few of those people even a little, it at least makes me feel better!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Fantasy Trip - Dragraffe Session 1

The group has found Hans, and a new half-Elven girl. outside the city in a cage, one of many for a travelling circus / animal show. They had caught Hans earlier in the morning, a werewolf roaming the countryside and killing rabbits. When Hans awoke, he had rags on and a half-chewed rabbit in front of him. His new neighbor, a not-quite emo Gargoyle, brought him up to date: he has been captured by Captain Brannigen's Travelling Circus and Curiosity Emporium. Gargoyles are not too common and Granit was captured several weeks ago in the mountains.

Talking to the gruff and not particularly friendly ringmaster, Captain Brannegin himself, the group pleaded for the release of Hans. "Not happening" says the dour man, "we caught him fair and square. There are laws 'bout them werewolves." Unpersuaded by any conversation, Runt went back and found the captain of the Guard. Bringing him back, they negotiated down to a few gold to get Hans released, but Hans refused to go without his new friend the Gargoyle Granit. A few more golds pass hands, and the group is released from the wagon. About this time, the Lady McCory comes by and talks with the young Elf (whose name, Trankritte, has a lot of rolling Rs that apparently us non-Elves cannot pronounce. We've ended up calling her Trans as we can at least pronounce that!). The invitation is given and received, and the gentry woman heads back to town, her puma leashed and walking sedately beside her. She was one woman with no worries about getting mugged in the streets!

After getting Hans back to his room for fresh clothing, the group heads uptown to the rich side of town, near the parks. Edge City is a large metropolis, and mansions adjoining the park are both old and fine. The gate is shut with a bell-pull and a note to pull for service. A quick ring, and the lady's gentleman, William, arrives at the gate asking  how he may help. Handing over the card, responding with "She is expecting you, please walk this way" he leads them through the extensive gardens and yards. They can see large, comfortable habitats for several animals. Trans notices that they all have some injuries that would prevent them from returning to live in the wild. The mansion is large and beautifully designed, and a placard indicates it is the home for the Animal Protection League. Leading them to a sitting room, they find her waiting for them. Some minor discussion goes along, essentially giving the group a mission to return the young dragraffe to the the southern hills where he will be able to live and roam free. Being able to only eat one specific type of tree leaf means he will slowly starve to death in these more northern latitudes. They agree to a weekly pay rate that is based on their current skills for what should be a 1 week trip to the south almost 200 miles, then return. They will be provided with a pair of drivers to assist and drive the cart and a smaller feed cart.

They meet at first bells at the southern gate, the sun rising to the east over the ocean. They meet Wode and his sister, Belinda, and the Hippogryph Binky. Binky could no longer fly, his wing broken in a fight years before. Rescued by the Animal League, he has been trained to pull the wagons, and being large enough, can pull the young dragraffe. At first the entire group is loaded on the back wagon, ready to go, when Belinda, with a deadpan expression, wonders exactly what the guards are getting paid for if they are just lazing around in the back of the wagon.
Binky the Hippogryph

Getting into a spread out formation, they start their journey out in clear yet cold weather, clouds scudding far above. The morning goes well, but late in the afternoon, Crut notices that they are being stalked by something off in the brush beside the road heading south. A very lengthy discussion ensues while they try & figure out what to do. While I tend to drop slimes on them in dungeons when they dither about, there were no rock ceilings for the slimes to hold on to, and wanting to bring a 2nd sabretooth tiger went against the description for these animals. They do finally decide to attack, Hans leading the way with his spear. Charge attacks with pole weapons are great as they do 1st damage. Crut moved up alongside the huge tiger, his blur ring on, while Granit moved in to attack with his 2 handed sword. Hans managed to wound the tiger, but in turn, with great saber teeth, the sabretooth tiger almost killed Hans in a single bite (they do 3 dice damage with those teeth, and since Hans wounded him in the leg, the tiger could only bite Hans). With yet another leather armor getting shredded, things did not look good for Hans. Even worse, as Crut attempts to stab the beast, apparently the site of all that blood and those big teeth unnerved our poor half-Elf rogue, and he dropped his dagger! Fortunately Granit hit and did some significant damage to the beast, enough so that it would not be able to attack next round. The 2nd round, Hans moved out of range and poked at the tiger, hurting him some more. Crut was grabbing at his blade, unable to attack this round, and Granit, with a single blow, cut off the head, killing the tiger! Hans is treated my their master physicker, who heals 3 of the damage points, and then he takes a swig of the powerful healing potion, restoring another 3 points of damage. Sadly, Trans wants to see about befriending the newly named Lollypop. She did not succeed in her roll, but neither does the dragraffe want to attack.

Making camp a few hundred yards from the kill, they have fresh sabretooth tiger filets for dinner, and Granit makes a hat out of the tiger's head, the teeth hanging down to either side of his eyes, and holes cut out to allow his horns to stick out. Setting up a rotation, everyone but Granit goes to sleep, the fire burning low and giving off little light or smoke. And apparently gargoyles like to watch people sleep, at least this one does, and notices Hans tossing and turning, then changing into a werewolf! Even with a 4D roll against his IQ he succeeds, and manages not to eat his fellow travelers. Instead he wolfs down the remainder of the sabretooth tiger meat, and runs off in the grasslands, heading south to scout out the area ahead. Granit wakes Crut when it is his turn, and tells of the werewolf. Crut maintains a vigilant watch, which extends longer than it should when, a couple of hours before dawn, he sees what appears to be a man walking up the road from the south. This eventually turns out to be a naked and shivering Hans, who has yet maintained his dignity. He found a few merchants and farmers ahead but no obvious dangers. One apparent good thing about werewolves is that they heal faster - each time he turns I'm allowing a 1 healing point. Not as significant as most fantasy allows but then, this is not mist fantasy. Plus there are only 3 nights a month he turns. Now, whether or not he can turn at will is something to be decided, but probably not. And the next time it will only be 3 dice against his IQ to not attack his companions, and if he succeeds, 2. If not, hopefully someone is keeping an eye on his on those full moons!

The next day they continue on their journey, crossing through the grasslands. Mid-morning they meet a grassclan making camp alongside the roads, their wagons a colorful display of grasses woven in beautiful patterns. They exchange the sabretooth tiger pelt for 10 nesting grass baskets, which Hans recognizes would bring a good price back in Edge City. And the Runt Gubbler figures he could hide in the largest if necessary. After sharing some grass soup, they continue on their journey and come to good camping spot that evening, no other events during that day.

It was at this point we broke for the session, what with homework needing to be done and hungry children.

Some lessons for me on this: I really do need to get and use a notebook to track everything down. All the GM tips indicate this, so I will be breaking down and doing that rather than scraps of paper hear and there. And wrangling 4 children with a variety of ages and interest in the game is also challenging: appealing to a young girl and 3 older boys is a balancing act for both me and the father! (Uncle to one if I recall the relationship). So far I think it is working out for everyone. But we'll have to figure out a food thing as they get hungry.

Next session there will be a side-quest in some dungeon or another. This is one of the reasons I brought in the 2 NPCs - to give a bit of flexibility for doing other things along the way. Plus if someone dies, I have 2 spare characters they can use. I've only given them the driver skill so that if a player does need to take over, they can design the rest of the character.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

The Fantasy Trip - Dragraffe Chapter

As per the previous post, the party will have to save the young dragraffe. Their native natural range is about 200 miles south of Edge city, in the hills that border the southern edge of Kalor Desert. So we have an overland trip they need to prep for, and they will need a real reason to do so other than doing the right thing.

So, the circus / sideshow master is a cruel person, and there will have to be some haggling to get Hans out of the cage, as well as the young dragraffe. And here is where we bring in our patron, the Lady Veranda McCory, a naturalist and part of the gentry. She was one of the people amongst the crowd and noticing the interest our young half-Elf has with the dragraffe as well as the outer group, after they get Hans out of that situation, they all receive nicely engraved invitations for high tea at the McCory estates. She wants to restore the creature to its home, knowing it will slowly starve here. The dragraffes eat only a very specific tree that is only found in the hills south of the desert. The trees require much warmer weather than Edge City is having, especially now that we are in the start of winter. She is willing to pay them a fair wage, based on the jobs found in the rules. For the master physicker, 100 silver a week. Crut the rogue is n at 50 silver a week, Hans at 50 silver as well and the Runt Gubbler, well, that will have to up for discussion as she is not sure a Goblin mage is even needed for this trek. In addition, she is supplying a large wagon and draft horses to haul the dragraffe.

A trip of 200 miles should be interesting. The rules for travel are pretty straight forward:
30 miles/day for normal road travel which is the 1st actual 150 miles, the 20 miles/day along secondary road through the desert. There will also be outdoor encounters as per page 55 of the manual, and I will have to come up with some of my own tables as I have way too many monsters and things I've picked up over the years (darn you Kickstarter!). And huh, really need to describe that topaz ring that granted Hans both +3 DX and the curse of the werewolf. Perhaps he should have looked at the ring a bit closer to see about deciphering the runes. And apparently he cannot take it off.

The dragraffe may also attempt to get out of her cage and fly around - hopefully animal friendship is working! And Hans will turn into a werewolf as per the rules each full moon. Pretty sure that will become an interesting adventure of it's own.

And a dragraffe stats:
ST: 30 for young, 60 for mature adults
DX: 10 - 12
IQ: 7
MA: 12 ground, 30 flying. 

An odd cross between a giraffe and dragon, dragraffes eat a tree unique to the hills south of the Kalor Desert. They do not share dragons lust for gold per se, but they do seem to collect shiny things like crows. Their nests are built into the hills, shallow caves usually with a mixed varierty of shiny things. Also unlike dragons, they ten towards herd behavior, with 2-4 males, 6-12 females and several young in various ages. They are relatively rare, but due to their restrictive diet do not fare well long outside their native habitat.

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Fantasy Trip - the next adventure

Bringing in another player (maybe 2) with a wider age range. Playing with younger players is great in a lot of ways as they bring in a lot more excitement. It is also letting me loosen up a bit and be a bit more freewheeling with treasures, magical items and a bit of fudging rolls. I may have a few blog posts labeled as GM Tips, even though there are a lot of sites already doing that already.

Anyway, bringing in the youngest daughter, I may start presenting some animal companions. We've already got the punk hunting cat (a Lego cat from the Lego movie as I had run out of Lego dogs :) ) who has been following Threndir around and is still hanging around outside the city with the occasional foray into the city to keep an eye on his person).

But we also need to have the next adventure that will appeal to everyone a bit. And as we now have enough players, it will be 1 character per player. We'll still have 4 characters in play, and having been injured enough, the latest has medical skills. I'll still be passing out the "big boy" healing potion, 1 per character, per adventure if they have a patron.

The next adventure starts a few weeks after their last one. They have rested up, the Runt Gubbler has fully charged his staff, and their experience points have kicked in as they practice and learn from the last trip. It was a full moon the night before...

Hans, who was gifted a +3DX ring in the last adventure, had noticed over the last few days that not only were his reflexes and aim better, his sense of smell had improved as well. And no matter how often he shaved, he had significant stubble just hours later. Then on the night of the full moon, a crisp fall moon, he had the strangest of dreams of running like a wolf through the city and out to the countryside. When he awakes, he is in a cage, one of many in what looks like a traveling circus, his clothing torn shreds and the remains of a rabbit next to him. He can see the city walls of Edge City, and knows he is near the southern gate entrance from the walls and gates, having walked the walls enough over the years.

His new companions have been staying at border houses or local inns, spending their newfound coins on room, board, drink, guild memberships and training.  Missing their companion at their normal breakfasting at the Bored Boar Inn (they make the best bacon apparently in Edge City), they check out his room, a small room near the Guards Barracks. Finding what appears to be wolf hairs, they of course start to worry. After a day of searching, they finally find the wayward former guard in a cage, being watched by a number of the local citizenry, including a young half-elf healer. She seems to being very concerned by a young giraffe dragon (giragon, dragraffe? I think I like dragraffe)

So, this could bring everyone together. As we'll have 4 players, everyone will play just 1 character of their choice. And we've yet to find Crut's mother and Threndir's ex-girlfriend who may or may not be the same woman. And is the new half-elf a possible sister to Crut? We could have an entire soap opera going!

And as she asked for a giraffe, and likes dragons, we will now have a young dragraffe that needs to get returned to where it comes from - the mountains to the south of Edge City that are on the edge of a desert. And just need a patron to get that started, so we'll have some overland adventures getting there.

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Session 0 - Starting the Big Wreck

We went round-robin for character generation. Not having my notes handy, these are the characters as rolled (names will show up in the next post when I have my notes nearby):

  • A 4 term Agent / Police Aslan who is quite the sharp shooter.
  • A 7 term aging Vargr from the Navy who never got above an E3 rating.
  • A journalist with award winning writings, then shunned by his fellow journalists and goes into field research. A scarred man from more than one accident.
  • A 4 term Navy Commander, adept with the sword (Imperial Navy and swords. Not just for show!)

The agent met the Navy commander years before, aiding in putting down a mutiny aboard a ship. The one-time journalist met the commander planet-side years before as well. And finally, the Vargr, apparently an expert potato peeler if nothing else, had served on some of the same ships as the stalwart commander.

They have mustered out on Strand, a planet on the edge of the Imperium. The police officer had an old contact in the Imperial Ministry of Special Projects, Georg, who called him up a few days after his final walk out of the precinct house.

  "Santiago, my old friend. Now that you have some free time on your hands, I've come across something that could interest you. It has great interest to us. If you could gather a few trustworthy companions, meet me at the Liason Bar and Grill at 1900 tonight."

Our Aslan friend apparently called up the commander, who in turn called in the Vargr and scientist. While we're not really sure if anyone trusts the scientist, he does bring a wide range of viewpoints from his term at the Strand Quarterly Observer and years in field research. The Vargr, despite being only an enlisted Naval crewman, had proved himself more than once in his dedication, gaining two combat ribbons. The commander himself left after his 4th term, unhappy with a decision that benefited him but he felt put a stain on his career. The well-cared for air/raft in the garage he bought in some sort of self-consolation, still sits in the rented garage.

That evening they meet in a private backroom of the bar, privacy shields going up. The introductions done, Georg gets down the business. A coordinate device was stolen from the Museum. This device apparently gives specific coordinates the the Big Wreck, an old derelict ship floating several parsecs out in the Rift. While a curiosity to most people, it is considered off-limits to Imperial citizens. Yet a SolSec agent, one Zandra Morrows, has replaced the museums' artifact with a duplicate, and is absconding with the real one aboard the King Richard. The luxury liner is poised to leave in the morning, and Georg wants to emplace agents on board. As to why he can't use Bureau agents: for the same reason he knows Zandra is a SolSec agent: they would be recognized. Trusting the ex-police agent and in his choice of companions, he is offering Cr50,000 per person to retrieve the devise and deliver it to the agent on Antiquity. While violence is not condoned per se, how they deal with the SolSec agent is up to them. The Bureau will maintain plausible deniability for the entire operation.

And that is pretty much where we left things. We'll do half up front, so they group may want to do some shopping. And we need to decide passengers or crew for the embedding. And I need to bring character sheets - for some reason I entirely forgot to bring anything despite this being session 0! I have an entire pad someplace I need to dig up.

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Fantasy Trip - another adventure down!

The 2nd adventure, a continuation of the first, let our stalwart companions to Edge City and its sewer and water systems underlying part of the city. To recap, Crut was to mark those areas that unaligned thieves were using as "property" of the thieves guild, as well as collect noses to track how many were killed.

We got through the first part as outlined here. I did not get to do a recap of the 2nd part, so it is a bit hazy. However, in order to bring player parity into this as two of the players has 2 characters each, as well as being a bit more advanced due to experience, we added a reptile man they had created as a hostage in one of the caverns. Guarded by 2 half-Orcs and what looked to be a large gator man (hey, I got a cool mini and wanted to play it!), they barely managed to defeat that trio when another rogue attacked from the rear (the youngest player wanted one of the minis he had made entered in the game, and it almost killed one of his characters!). The combat did not go well for Hans, our newest member: he fired his arquebus. And missed - Hans has a horrible DX. And at $100 per shot, and taking 4 rounds to prep, it is not an efficient weapon. The new character only managed to get out of his ropes in the last couple of rounds of combat and joined in for the last round. All told. ,Hans almost died, and downed some of the healing potion they found in that particular area (I was a bit generous but I actually did roll 2d6 healing potions as a random treasure and rolled an 8). The battle axe was picked up by Cheeli - unable to use it due to lacking the ST, they may work their way up to using some of the weapons they've recovered. And Cheeli is both the walking tank as well as the general purpose porter, carrying quite a bit but not enough to be encumbered. I believe it was this chamber that 2 very useful items came up: a +3DX ring for Hans, and a Blur ring for Crut. There may yet be repercussions to the rings but we'll see.

Continuing along, there was a pit trap, filled with sticky tar. Crut, having a labyrinth kit, set up pitons and rope and quite readily made the leap across to the other side. Hans also made it across, but poor Cheeli managed to fall in and get coated with tar - he was a -1 DX the next few rounds until he got cleaned up! Hans helped him out of the pit, and in this narrow 3-way intersection, Hans was backing into a room to give the others room when he heard some ominous growling. A cave bear was not happy with intruders! A fight occurred and again, it does not do well for Hans but they managed to kill the bear, and have a short break and roast some bear for eating. And Cheeli, patting himself all over, runs back and dives into the tar pit, searching for the piece of wall he had hacked off from their 1st adventure. He had been crooning to that painted eye when he thought no one else was looking, his tie to the Dwarf mage from the previous adventure. Sadly, he did not find it, and was only more coated in tar.

Moving along, Cheeli even slower than before, is at the front when attacked by 2 giant frogs. While not a threat really, there is a brief scuffle and along with the tar are frog guts splattered all over poor Cheeli. At this point, a trio of frog-like creature pop their heads up, little black eyes glistening in the torchlight. With squeaky voices, they ask if the big furry monster was killed. When answered yes, they threw a bag of scavenged coins at the group to thank them, then splashed back into the water ways. They know not to eat the corn-eyed brown trout.

At this point we are caught up I think to  week ago. For this week, we start with them finding a 4-way intersection. There were footprints leading along the right-hand corridor, which had a door. Not trapped, it still took Screeve (okay, not entirely sure of the new characters name but I think that is it) a couple times to batter it down. Inside were 5 thieves, armed. I had them draw 5 random cards from the character deck, and combat proceeded. Crut was never hit - that -4DX for attacks on him for the blur ring was a good find! Yet the woman he was attacking had both a large shield and a hammer - he could barely do any damage to her even with a +5 knife. Several hits managed to just barely scrape. Meanwhile, the others were fighting and initially things were going badly. One of the thieves had a DX of 14, so rarely missed and with a rapier doing 2d-1 or so, was inflicting some major damage as well as going 1st each combat round. Crut had 2 opponents on him, one he was attacking, another Threndir was shooting at. Screeve actually had 3 against him initially. Runt was doing his staff to snake magic to send the snake around to do some damage. Somewhere in the combat, both Screeve and Cheeli managed to do a triple damage roll - Screeve neatly bisected his opponent and Cheeli crushed the backside of his opponent. Threndir finished off another with an arrow to the neck. The last 2 fighters did not go down without a fight; in fact Screeve got to 0 hit points / ST left. The Runt Gubbler, the last with the higher-power healing potion, decided to let their new companion have it. Sadly he rolled a 1 on D4, so while it brought the lizard man back from the brink of death, he was still too weak to wield any weapons. I relented a bit and they found some more healing potions (hey, a thief's life is dangerous and you can't always go to a healer if wanted for theft!). Enough to bring both Hans and Screeve to have enough ST to use their own weapons.

Back at the intersection (and this may be out of order) the frog-like trio pop back up, and offer another bag of coins if they can kill the big monster. So off our group goes in the other direction. Another trap is found, and a rock tossed on the plate. Sadly it puts Hans out - a vial of sleeping gas. He is out like a light for 10 minutes. Slung on Cheeli's back, when he wakes it is to the smell of tar, frog guts, and flatulent Dwarf - better than smelling salts! (actually, I think that happened before the thieves' room).

The final encounter was the troll, a 41 ST creature with 11 DX. With 6 of them, and even with recovering 1 point of damage per combat round, they rather readily defeated the troll. A bit more treasure was found, and then, partly due to player hunger, they manage to get their way back out and meet up with some city guard.

At this point we closed up - everyone got 200XP, Cheeli got an extra 50 for the tar pit leap, and Screeve got an extra 50 for that slice and dice, then almost dying. The group will spend some time in the city while resting and recuperating. We may have 1 or 2 more players next time around, in which case every player can only use 1 character. It may be an animal rescue: the youngest daughter has written up a character that has animal friendship and healing abilities. And now the group knows they need to have someone who can heal them! She wants giraffes, so not sure how we'll do that. But I do have a desert animals PDF someplace, and I can stick a small desert somewhere on the map, so there are possibilities!

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Zandra Morrows Dossier

Trying the Solomani SolSec character generation. While not entirely sure I did it correctly, it came out with a pretty good character.

I had a conversation last year when I was running another Traveller game about creating the NPCs. I told them it took a lot of character generating to get some of the NPCs I wanted, and they said I could just create the character as needed. And while, yes, that is always an option, I feel that would eventually lead to all the NPCs following certain parameters, having no backstory, and be boring. Of course, the players rarely see that side of things so perhaps they are correct. However, I just enjoy the random character generation process - it can lead you to characters you never would have thought of.

Regardless, her character generation was actually the first one and came out good enough. I did throw a couple of zero level skill in there for background skills.

Zandra Morrows Dossier   8A58E3  age 32

Comms-0, Admin-0, Gun Combat (Handguns) 1, zero-G combat 1, Pilot 1, Navigation 1, Battledress 1

Born: 314-1073 Twylo / Cappella  0134 / Solomani Rim.

College: 1090-1094 New Harvard University (+4 EDU), no honors, success

Joined SolSec as a Monitor after graduating college in 1094.

1094: Administrator, somewhat dangerous, promoted to Lt., Gun-Combat [Army]

1095: Corporate, extremely dangerous, Zero-G combat [Army]

1096: Administration, dangerous, decorated [Party]

1097: Corporate, probably safe, promoted to Captain, Pilot [Merchant]

1098—1099: Hierarchy, safe [Navy]

1100: Corporate, dangerous. Battledress [SolSec]

1101-present: Elected Government, somewhat dangerous. Major, Nav [Party]

Born on the subsector capital planet of Twylo in the Cappella sub-sector to a mid-range Party family, Zandra was brought up in the Preservation Party. Her college years were full of a wide variety of classes, ranging from philosophy to the hard sciences. Her harsh course load took its toll, though. While she did graduate, she had no time for much of a social life and did not make honors. Going straight into SolSec, she joined the group as a Monitor. She spent two years posing as an Army adjunct where she picked up her gun combat skills. Promoted to Lieutenant in the Army was matched by the same rank in SolSec. Her next stint in the Merchant service covered some aggressive privateering, and she gained a certification in zero-G combat. The final year of her 1st term brough her to Party membership, where she parlayed her previous cover and learned to pilot Party officials, gaining both a Pilot-1 certification as well as getting promoted to Captain. The next two years she was transitioned to monitor certain individuals in the Hiearchy. While considered a safe posting, her Navy cover was blown in 1099. Being in the open now, she went with SolSec corporate raiding parties, learning battledress. At the end of this stint, she went back undercover into the elected government as an Army advisor, her public records completely rewritten. Two years into this she was promoted to Major in 1103 and also certified as a ship’s navigator.

She is currently a high-ranking elected government official with a high security clearance. She still monitors for SolSec, leaving updates at specified drop boxes. Her current mission was the retrieval of the coordinate device. She managed to retrieve it from the Museum of Antiquities on Strand, and is now on her way to Antiquity via the King Richard. The museum has only a prop of the device and it is unlikely to be discovered any time before she is long gone.

A tall blond, Zandra manages a hunched over demeanor to hide her actual height and natural gracefulness. She is a firm believer in the Solomani Hypothesis, which is not too popular in Imperial space. She manages to always carry a small body pistol on her at all times.

Friday, January 03, 2020

King Richard

Most of the information is pulled from the King Richard PDF, available on the Apocrypha 1 CD. I've expanded some to take advantage of the ships I also have.

Security There are 9 levels of security, ranging from the passengers (a) to the Captain and a few other top-level officers of the ship. There are no physical keys, all doors use print plates. When entering the King Richard, biometric information is collected for access. The primary computer system tracks all prints and interfaces with port systems to keep up to date on criminal prints and data. Additionally, there are unobtrusive camera systems in all public areas, as well as obvious and hidden security monitors in highly sensitive areas.

Per book: Number of people - role - security level - notes
1 - Captain - 9
1 - Navigator - 8
3 - pilots - 8 - these men also pilot the shuttles
10 Deck Officers - 8 - normal watch standers
1 - Security officer - 9
10 - Security staff members - 8 - 6 men stand 4/8 watches on the bridge. The other 4 have standard round and special tasks.
1 - Chief Medical Officer - 9
4 - Medical Assitants - 8
1 - Chief Engineer - 9
1 - First assistant Engineer - 8
4 - Drive Engineers - 7
4 - Level 2 Engineers - 6
6 - Level 3 Engineers - 5
65 - Stewards - 3 - room stewards
10 - Administrative personnel - 3,4 - This includes pursers, activity directors and others.
60 - Workers - 2 - included in this section are hostesses, gaming table supervisors, and regular maintenance people. Some members of this group may have limited higher level clearances

While I did not see any specific security offices on the deck plans, we can make a stateroom per deck perhaps used as a discreet security station.

Accessing the computer systems will be very complicated, and depending on the characters and how they roll up, we may have to bring in a specialized NPC if they want to go that route.

I can see several options for this part of the adventure. I think there will be at least 4 players, perhaps more (although 2 may not be able to show up for health reasons sadly).  Passengers are a good possibility, depending on the patron, the could be part of the security team or another part of the crew. It is unlikely to be a gun fight as there is nowhere to go when you are in jump space. The key is getting the coordinate device from the SolSec agent, preferably without her knowing it. If theplayers think things through ahead of time (and don't read this blog until after the fact which is likely as few actually read my little notes here unless I point them to it for the game recaps), they may see about getting a facsimile of the device ahead of time. If they don't, I may have the patron supply one.

For those players who may not be able to make all the games, they could be crew of one of the 2 support vessels, bringing us to:

Support Vessels
The King Richard is supported by 2 Morningstar ships, 2500dT fighting vessels that also carry 2 attack shuttles each. These potent ships are primarily armed with a large selections of missiles but also have powerful laser turrets as well.

See - I knew I could work in some of even the larger ships from 0-Hr! And some of the shuttle minis will work fine as attack shuttles sort of.

Finally, we will need the patron for this. Who is doing this and why? With the assumption that the players are going to play Imperial citizens (or ex-military mustering out on Strand), I'll probably go with some semi-clandestine Imperial group that wants to see what is going on. Some anti-SolSec group or something like that. Hopefully one of the connections the players makes during chargen will aid me in getting that going. I will need to come up with something, along with just how much they will make, this weekend!

And I've decided to add the Big Wreck tag to all the blogs that relate to this game. So we can find them later.

Finally, in reading the Transstar News blog, this entry has some Solomani political parties. So along with the movie posters from Another Traveller Blog, I am using what people put out there - that's why they put it out there! So picking one of those parties may help me come up with some Imperial agency that would have a vested interest in keeping an eye on them. And have that knowledge of our Ms. Zandra Morrows.