Sunday, September 19, 2021

Solo Traveller: Montca 270-1106

 Another week in jump, another interesting week. While comms are down for the week in jump space, and with no passengers I had more time than normal on my hands. We had an issue with one of the cooling processors for the jump drive [rolled on the jump encounter chart and managed to get an engineering problem requiring all crew to help replace a large component; then rolled on a combat table and it was power plant. Now, whether or not you actually need a power plant in the jump has created some interesting discussions over on COTI, from the it just opens the jump space portal and you coast to  it maintains the jump bubble and is needed throughout the jump. I lean towards it is needed in jump to maintain the jump bubble as well as power all the systems. It just does not draw nearly the same amount of power needed to open the jump space portal].  It took most of the week to get the maker to generate the parts and to shift things around. Fortunately Egg amd Lando had things well in hand and we were not powering maneuver drives. But we will need some maintenance and replenishment parts when we get to Montca. Our engineers say it is more than good enough, but the League has its own inspections apparently, and we will need to get this recertified before we can take on more passengers.

We came out of jump almost exactly at 168 hours, just over 100 diameters or 600,000 miles. We're about 4 hours from orbit as the port squawks for ID. Passing along the No Refunds transponder code. Heading out towards the jump perimeter the crew of the 400 ton frontier trader Boudicca hails us. We exchange a bit of gossip, letting them know what was happening back on Tryonas while they give us some info on Montca. Apparently, we're just in time for a planetary celebration of Council Day, when the various social councils of Montca celebrate their purpose with renewed vigor. I have no idea what that really means, but apparently it is a big thing and we'll have a good time when we get there.

A system patrol vessel meets us partway there. We give our doctor approved ladings and pratique info, and were directed to land on pad 11 of Beta Complex. Apparently they could have interesting celebrations but bland landing designations. 

Coming in, I used the external cameras to watch as we approached the planet. Its sun was a speck in the sky, and some vast mirrors in orbit reflected more light down at the planet to help heat things up a bit. Most of what little land the planet had was snowy tundra, except for a small section around the equator. Reading up on things, the majority of people lived in large undersea cities, and had vast undersea farms where they got most of their foods from. Ewo was complaining about the berthing fees being higher here on Montca. Hopefully we'll be able to sell our 5 tons of electronics for a good price. Ewo is talking about looking for a broker: we would pay a fee but a good chance of getting a better price. 

Landing on pad 11, our ship cast multiple shadows from the orbital mirrors. It was a rather odd experience looking out over the landing area. As I signed off the comms, Lynwood came through, gave a brief smile as though he was thinking about something else, and went down the stairs to the docking ports. I followed Ewo to get started on selling our cargo and offloading the freight we had picked up.

[and I've no idea about passengers...I need to follow those rules about tracking these things. I do have a spreadsheet I've been using, but need to add a column to track passengers. we'll just go with no passengers. And actually re-read the last post for this, and nope, no passengers. The Captain "has a plan" which I've yet to figure out!]

The captain, accompanied by Egg, had already left by the time I got the cargo bay situated and the unloading started. Had to wear a breather mask: it was so cold, and the air was very thin that I would have passed out pretty quickly! Fortunately for that, we did not have a full bay, so unloaded all the containers. I was not sad to see those radioactives unloaded and moved off to some warehouse farther away. Ewo found a broker, one Bobbis Elber. We met in his office in the administrative complex at the main building. The tube trains were warm at least as we travelled from our landing site to the main complex. I couldn't really tell Bobbis' gender: mascara lined their eyes and they had purple shoulder length hair. Sometimes going to strange worlds with stranger customs really threw me off. While there was no huge need for the electronics here [no DM based on the only trade code we have, high population] they did mange to get at least the going price [broker 3 so +3 for a 5% cut; I rolled a 7, so +3 = 10 so 100% sale price, Cr500,000].  We paid Bobbis his C25,000 and still made a profit at least of more than Cr100,000. Unfortunately I was pretty sure that a good chunk of that may go to the maintenance and recertification we needed from that cooler we fixed while in jump.

Okay, managed to get to Montca finally. And did bring in higher berthing fees due to the class A port. Sold off the bit of speculative cargo they did have. Did not make out as well as I was hoping: trade can be hit or miss, which is the entire point. Wondering if I should see about getting Malik some broker skills. 

However: the broker thing I think breaks the trading. The way I see brokers is more at a system level: you have broker at your level only for that system. If I wanted to get technical, I'd probably re-read the Far Trader book and calculate the trade potential for the nearby systems. Far Trader as some really cool things going for it, though it does posit the big ship universe. But the broker DM would be reduced the further away from your home system you are, based on the trade routes. Part of being a broker is keeping open communications to know what is needed. With Traveller, ships are the open communications and out of date due to a week in jump to get to another system. Could make it simpler by just -1 per each parsec away, but I do like the idea that systems that do trade would perhaps help maintain your brokerage levels.

So I think I'll work out the trade codes and stuff for the League. My original trade program did all that as well. Wonder if I can find that code - it may still be on Github. Anyway, at least I managed to get back to this a little bit. Hopefully next solo session we'll get to explore the world of Montca as Malik & Ewa go off to look for cargo! And we've added a new contact for Montca, our ambiguous broker Bobbis.

And this is really the joy of Traveller for me: so many things you can do on a solo level. Wish I had some grognards to play with: we'd spend more time messing with the rules and figuring things out like the travel time from 100 diameters and all that. Think I'll also make that chart so I have it handy. I sort of half-guessed at the time based om a 2G ship. But really, a simple chart of planet size / G drive to get to 10 and 100 diameters should be easy enough. Right?

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