Saturday, September 20, 2014

Classic Traveller, 50 fun things to do in Zero-g

We left off last session with the PCs having just caught a glimpse of Bertrum35 soldiers along a corridor, and one was PC trapped in an air lock.

As an aside from the action, the players secondary characters (home-team) noticed that the Bertrum35 ship had started broadcasting a "this ship is under attack by pirates" message.

Back in the corridor shots were exchanged with two Bertrum35 employees. But no hits were scored. The lights in the corridor started flashing rapidly and the Bertrums disappeared from sight. The PCs, Jenkins and the Bear, knew that wasnt a good sign and waited for the the bad news. With the lights still pulsing, the gravity started rapidly cycling from 0 to 1.2 causing some endurance damage to the Bear.

The poor lonely PC, Jocko, trapped in the airlock put away his axe, and took out his ACR and used its grenades to attack the inner door to the airlock. With a blast of smoke and shrapnel he wasted the door and freed himself. Once out he lead his team along the corridor heading for'ard in the same general direction as the other party. But at a corner he found a Bertrum standing in a doorway. This meant the Bertrum was standing in a room where gravity wasn't popping but Jocko had all of the discomfort of fluctuating gravity. This Bertrum was also wearing combat armour, the PCs toughest opponent yet. Jocko let lose with his ACR, but the gravity must have played havoc with his aim and the bullets flight as it was pretty much a wasted shot. The Bertrum had all of the advantages. With a steadied weapon he placed a shot from his rifle straight into Jocko (13 points of wound). Jocko staggered a little and in a manly manner waved his men forward to rush the Bertrum. The guy didn't stand a chance and was riddled with bullets.

Jenkins and the Bear darted past the corridor where they'd seen the Bertrums, heading for the bridge leaving their troopers to cover their backs and deal with the Bertrums,. A firefight was soon taking place behind them. They carried on along the corridor and started descending a ramp.

Jocko found a lift and decided to use it, perhaps thinking of reaching engineering or meeting the other PCs on the lower deck. Unfortunately the ship had other ideas, the lift locked between decks. He knew exactly what to do and started reprogramming the lift controls with his axe. Perhaps it was foolhardy, perhaps it was daft, but whatever it was, it worked! He soon got the lift under control and ascended back to his starting position.

Back on the ramp an anti-piracy device fired. I blister full of an oily substance exploded coating our intrepid heroes in a visor obscuring black yuky-fek. they set too using their capes to clear the visors.

Pretty soon they were joined by their troopers who had finished off the two Bertrums, and Jocko with his squad too.

The ramp lead down into a wide open space used for exercise, indicated by the weights and other equipment strapped to the walls. They noticed the air pressure rising again. Only one door leading forwards was available, and it was a secure edifice.  Everyone backed away as Jocko loaded up another HEAP grenade into his ACR.

When he fired there was the expected explosion, but also a secondary rolling explosion as the air in the room blossomed into flame. I, reasoning that the over pressured air would be oxygen rich. (Ship designers would obviously put more oxygen in when pressurising in case someone was suffering from asphyxia. Well that's what I thought anyway). This explosion blasted over out armoured heroes and took out one of their people in the process. The door was not destroyed but rather holed. Looking through the hole they couldn't seem much, just open space. They set to with their axes and eventually laid the door open.

Then the players started getting a little tentative, not wanting to be first in. I guess all their years of D&D must have left them expecting the big bad. Yet as they entered the elongated control room they heard a voice.

"You took your time getting here."

They didn't find the big bad, instead they found a sad-looking resigned old man sitting at one of the control stations. He turned out to be Bertrum, not a Bertrum, but THE Bertrum. He tossed Jenkins the keys to the ship and the conversation moved on.

It turned out that Bertrum35 has started out as a small mercenary unit with only 35 people in it, hence the name. They had grown over time and then fallen on bad times. A couple of bad mercenary tickets had led them into bad times. The PCs noted how the soldiers in the unit had been poorly armed, perhaps a sign that the unit had fallen on bad times.

They discussed back and forth on their private channel the possibility of ether killing or employing  the old man. His understanding of the mercenary business, they argued could be of use. Perhaps he could help in training up new troopers. But, came the counter argument, he might spend his time training up troops loyal to himself and that might lead to a rebellion within the ranks. When they tried to offer him a job, the man seemed more interested in just going home. Where was home? It was the planet Zapmanus, which the PCs pointed out was uncomfortably close to the Aslan invasion forces. 
In the end it was decided to simply dump him at the sub sector capital of Tircescoe.

Now the PCs had time to look at their newly acquired ship. When they shipped over their engineer for an inspection, the results did not make them particularly happy.

All but two turret were out of commission, the jump drive was built for Jump-2 but was currently only able to manage Jump-1. The hull of the ship turned out to be old, really old. Suffering stress and fatigue in places. This ship was no priceless gem, but never the less, a hugely valuable acquisition. A ship capable of entering combat, and transporting troops.

It was decided to make this the command ship of their fleet (two ships). Repairs would need to be done and they considered cashing in the one favor with the sub sector leadership that they still have to spend. I pointed out that commandeering a space dock this close to the Aslan front during a time of war was a big "ask".

So ends their first mercenary ticket. They've suffered one death and three serious injuries to the members of the unit, plus 1 PC has had a major wound. Now all that's left for me to do is, whip out the calculator. Damaged kit. Weapons expenditure. Sundry expenses, spares, repairs etc. Then integrate their new recruits into the unit. Will they have made a cash-profit on the first ticket?

Edit: finished working out the money for this ticket:

1.4 Million profit on the Stallone ticket.
Payment 3000000Cr
Expenses 172450Cr
Profit 2827550Cr
Owners Share 1413775Cr
Individual Share 35344Cr
Ships crew share 35344Cr
PFC's share 35344Cr
Cpl's share 106033Cr
Srg's share 141377Cr

With that amount of money in their pockets, they'd better give the men some time off!

I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

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