Saturday, September 13, 2014

Classic Traveller, Carrot or Stick

The last session had the PCs returning to town from "the dig". In fact they had just been overflown by a large vehicle heading towards town.

Tonight's session started therefore with the rain. Considering the planet only had a wisp of atmosphere, this was something that should not be happening. The dust-wipers on the vehicles were turned on but only moved an inch or two before gumming up. Seconds later all of the vehicles in the convoy ground to a halt with engines and motors complaining. The PCs concluded that the "rain" wasn't what it looked like. A vehicle door was opened, a corporal stepped out to investigate. There was a descending mist that was very sticky. The corporal ended up glued to the door of the vehicle but otherwise unhurt.

Using their uniform capes as protection from the rain, the rest of the troop exited the vehicles and headed into town on foot. They found that the sticky substance caused the soil to clump up on their boots but the capes kept the worst of the glue off.

In town they discovered the fight they heard last session was ongoing. A couple of Bertrum troopers were keeping the heads of the guards (guarding the Bertrum prisoners) down, while another group were doing-something to the PCs robot. They also noticed the town hall had been flattened by the landing of a large Bertrum shuttle on top of it. At the foot of the shuttle's loading ramp a couple more Bertrums stood guard.

The PCs wasted no time. Weapons flashed and erased the Bertrums shooting at the guards. The Bertrums were surprised and never really got the chance to return fire. More guns blazed and those at the foot of the ramp were wasted. The robot was activated and in a clumsy pirouette layed out the four Bertrums who were trying to interfere with it.

The PCs raced onto the Bertrum shuttle to make sure it was clear and wouldn't be leaving anytime soon. They found it empty. It was only now that they went back to the convoy to unstick the poor corporal!

Gathering up the wounded Bertrums they herded them into the saloon-cum-guard house and called down their doctor from their ship. They then proceeded to work their devious mind games upon the prisoners in a bid to get them to change sides. A huge Joining-Up bonus was offered plus a few other benefits.

I had thought about this situation before the game started and had thought to have 1D of the Bertrums be ready to join them, they are all mercs' after all and money-is-loyalty. Yet as the players talked I thought that the 10K joining-up bonus was worth another 1D. The convincing arguments of promotion, equipment (the Bertrums were using very old equipment), and a bar-in-every-room was worth an additional +3. So they made a SOC roll to convince them, succeeded, and scored 12 on the 2D+3, garnering themselves another 12 experienced recruits.

The recruitment drive out of the way, their minds turned to the Bertrum destroyer-class vessel overhead. Could it be taken?

They gathered up all of the troops they could, including the converts and some of the Stallone police-thugs loaded them all into the Bertrum shuttle and headed for the ship. The docked with it without any issue, soon overcame the three digit entry code and moved into the ship. They found themselves in a central corridor and split up going in opposite directions. In a very short time alarms sounded indicating they had been detected.

As they moved about the ship a couple of interesting incidents took place. The air pressure increased, the gravity turned off and an air lock opened itself to vacuum. Against the explosive decompression the PCs survived, fortunately still wearing their vacc-suits and having the strength to hold in place until the locks sealed themselves again.

They moved further into the ship, and found a man with a bandaged leg and a rifle confronting them. A swift fire was exchanged leaving the man seriously wounded. He was quickly dispatched as the PCs passed him to explore further. 

As I said, the party was split. One PC found himself separated from his squad when a hatch closed behind him. He tried to open it, even resorting to a boarding axe and attacking the seal. This must have been very tricky in zero-g!

Here the session ended with the lone PC trapped, and his squad being observed by a just emerged Bertrum. The other PCs are also being observed from a side corridor by another two Bertrums.  Next session will open with an exchange of fire!

The following graphic is a screen shot from Roll20, which we're using for the map work.

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