Saturday, November 29, 2014

Scarlet Heroes, a first session

Last night was a night of nights as they say. It was my first time playing a game of Scarlet Heroes and the first time in the longest time, of playing a game with one player (me) and a GM.

I'd glanced at the free Qquickstart, so knew it was an OSR inspired game but not a lot else. At the start of the session  I had to throw a character together, and during this discovered that the rules actually have a section for handing one-on-one games, this was getting more interesting by the minute.

Having rolled the six stats and picked my traits I moved onto starting equipment. I managed to get spear, buckler and chainmail...but in typical OSR fashion there was no mention of clothes, so the session became subtitled...

The Quest for Underwear, and Maybe a Shirt

In the village of Rumbly Belly lived a Wanderer who was an Escaped Slave and ex Miltary Scout, who although well armed had nothing on under his chainmail. He really wanted something on underneath, if only to stop the chainmail plucking his hair and chaffing his bits. Fortunately for him a creepy tower was nearby and rumour had it that it used to be inhabited by a wizard of huge power and massive underpant-hamper. So guess where the wanderer went!!

Through the creepy woods, to the tower, circle around, assault the door. Empty room except for handy glowing mushroom light source.Stairs up, stairs down...which way? Bedrooms, and hampers, probably upstairs. Up we go!

The first level contained a living room, somewhat run down. An attempt to fashion a loin-cloth from the leather cover on the chair failed rather miserably. So the first door was opened. Opened just a crack for a bit of peek inside. Uh oh! It was a  mouldy library but there was a crystal statue guardian which raised its arms and attacked. I tried to close the door but it was ripped open, meaning it was spear-time!

The combat raged backwards and forwards, book shelves were upended, books were thrown but soon I was backing up the stairs just trying to fend off the crystal beast, when a lucky thrust finally put paid to him. After listening at the door and stairs to see if anything else was moving, my hero retired to the musty couch for a rest.

A quick scout around the library revealed no underpants, so I moved to the other door and discovered a bedroom. As we all know underpants accumulate under beds so I flipped the bed to find... no pants. But there was a trap door. Could this be where the pants were kept?  When I eventually prised it open all I found was a locked metal box. I dragged this outside into the sun and broke it open. Unfortunately dying because of the poison needle trap...

... Hey! No,  I didn't die, die. Just died. Which is not as lethal as you might expect under the Scarlet Heroes rules. I'm fuzzy on the rules here, but I rolled a die and survived. Apparently this "die" gets bigger each time you die (from d4 to d6 to d8 etc) and that's bad but I'm not sure why.

I was in a quandry. The box contained 40gp and 400sp but I had no bag/sack. I toted the box over to the wood line and hid it quickly under woodland rubbish. Then back to the tower. Up the stairs again. On the next level was a strange room with maps and drawings on the walls and ceiling. I tore down a map or two to discover they were star maps of some sort, but they didn't hide anything behind.

The stairs led further upwards and a listen check revealed "something sensed rather than heard". Mysterious!  Could it be the warm hum of a hamper full of dirty underpants, the possibility was a lure! Cautiously moving upwards I had sudden visions of far away worlds (Vargr inhabited?) caused by the mysterious drawings on the ceiling, before reaching the top floor.

Here I found a floor covered in drawings of demonology and the "hum" was stronger, and...and what the heck was that huge big eye-thing over there? If my character had any underpants, this is the point at which he would have need to change them. In the absence of a change of clothing, I backed slowly down the stairs all the way to the ground floor.

The stairs down led to an ancient roughly made dungeon. Cautiously moving along the tunnels I found a few odd things. A cave full of bones...a series of empty cells, and a torture chamber! Here I acquired an old rusty knife which was slid into my belt. A knife is always handy.

The next room was used in ancient times for one of, cooking, making witches brews, or rendering down bodies I can't be sure. Whatever it was, the Ghoul that leapt out of a cauldron at me was angry that I was there. The fight was brutal. Cauldrons were knocked over, ladles were used as vicious nasty weapons, there may even have been a little spear action. When finally the Ghoul was down I peaked into its hidey hole and found a sack full of coin. When I grabbed the sack, it set off a trap of some sort and the roof began to cave in. If only I'd thought to don one of the smaller cauldrons as a helmet! I was twice smashed by rocks while running for the surface.

Back at the trees, I upended the sack of coins and cut leg holes in the bottom. Thus fashioning a rather snazzy, if itchy, set of underwear. Joy! Bliss! Warmth!...Itchy.

The final act was to pile the coin into the metal box and head back to town for some clothes shopping.

A really enjoyable game, and the rules seemed to work rather well. I may have to keep an eye on this game and maybe add it to my wish list. The one-on-one session went really well and the rules, especially the not-dying part, made an OSR game survivable for a single PC.
I'm an author, I write adventure game books.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Supplement 2 Animal Encounters, a review

This 52 page booklet was part of the original Traveller, and published in 1979. This review however is focusing on the currently available PDF version. The PDF is based on a scan of a printed copy and as these things go , it's a good scan, clear and easy to read. there is only one piece of art, a small black and white of a Lovecraftian-looking octopodian.

Book three of Traveller (Worlds and Adventures) gave you a mechanism for building a random animal encounter table for any terrain on any world. If your players were going into marshy terrain on a small world, you could knock up an encounter table for that particular world. The purpose of this supplement is to save you bother of making up that table of animal encounters.

After a brief introduction the booklet quickly moves into a series of tables that form the meat of this book. It systematically presents a separate table for each terrain type on a Small World with a Thin Atmosphere, then a Small World with a Standard Atmosphere and then, Small World with Dense Atmosphere. This slips into rinse and repeat for Medium sized worlds and Large Worlds.

Each table caters for a random roll from 2-12, each line gives you bare statistics for an animal, except when you roll a 10, which describes an event. Each animal entry describes its type, weight, hits to unconsciousness, hits to kill, armour, the beasts weapons and its likelihood of attacking or running, and finally it's speed.
Without book three, these tables would be of little use as this supplement does not explain all of the terms it uses. For instance, if an animal on the table is a "Intermittent", what does that mean?  If it attacks "as teeth", what does that phrase mean? 

Fundamentally each row is a stat-block without any description or narrative detail. This is typical of the Classic Traveller system, it leaves a lot of open space for the Referee to fill in the details, which either suits you, or doesn't. I have mixed feelings about this scenario within this context. If I'm being supplied encounter tables for quick reference, they should be quick reference with everything I need on them, but at the same time, this same table might apply to thousands of worlds and the same creatures should not be appearing on world after world.

What about those events that happen when you roll a 10? Overall I like this idea, it adds good spice to what is effectively a wandering monster chart. For instance, one event says that a PC is attached by a "Chameleon Filter" (you'll need to look that up). Another says, grass fire seen on the horizon, another that your vehicle breaks an axle. However, you'll have to try and avoid a broken axle three times on the trot or it might get a bit samey.

After iterating through the world/atmosphere options already mentioned the book goes on give you a few more specific tables.  Eight tables for various Maritime locations, two for arctic conditions, and two for vacuum worlds.

Overall, I think it's fairly useful in situations where you haven't had time to create specific encounter charts of your own. You would have to avoid using these charts too often if your players visit a lot of worlds, as they would soon become stale. With a million worlds it would be criminal of the referee for every world to have a 12Kg Flyer that Attacks on 3+.

You have nothing to lose by adding this to your Classic Traveller collection, but it is by no means required as you can get more variety by using the rules in Book 3.

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

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Classic Traveller - Murder, blood, and bodies

Everyone's favourite mercenary company are acting as guards on the King Richard, a massive space-liner. Last session two grisley murders took place and the rough burly mercs had to do the investigating.

With the young man who discovered his lover dead being led away, the players  had to decide what to do about the body. With the previous body still floating outside the airlock, spacing it was not an option. In the end they decided to suck the air out of the stateroom and leave it sealed up. There was a lot of discussion about how they could do a search without alarming the passengers.

The ship's First Lieutenant told them an anecdote about mass panic on starships and how he'd been on a ship that had fallen into that trap. There had been unreasonable panic, fires, rampage, death, and by the end of jump the ship was almost a write-off, a thing that he would not risk again for any reason.

A panicked call came over the com' reporting a bout of violence on the pool-deck. They dispatched their nearest team to the pool with orders to be as non lethal as possible, before running down there themselves. When they popped onto the pool deck they found themselves amongst a pack of running passengers. They were wailing about the monster that was attacking people.

At the pool itself, they didn't find a monster, they did find one of their Vargr mercs pinning down one of the liners hostesses, and he even had his teeth buried in her leg. In the pool a man was weakly trying to swim as his blood leaked into the water.

The PCs quickly dragged the bleeding man from the water and pulled the merc off the hostess. It seems the report of a monster was a reference to the Vargr. They called for the doctor and set about working out what had happened. It seemed that the hostess had suddenly attacked the man in the pool with a ...spoon. Stabbing him repeatedly and trying to open him up.

The doctor wasn't answering but a nurse could be reached, and rushed to the scene. The nurse worked on the injured man but wouldn't go near the hostess until the Vargr that was licking his bloodied lips backed away. Once the "monster" was out of the way the nurse found the hostess almost catatonic with wide open pupils. Pharmacological! The head steward was called to clean up the bloody pool. He couldn't believe the mess, and straight after he'd finished cleaning the first victims room too!

Where the heck was the doctor?

They knocked on the doctor's door but got no answer, they called down the Lt to use his pass key (which they then took from him for their own use). Inside they found the doctor drunk and out to the world. The Lt was not pleased. The PCs noted that there were a lot of chemical bottles around the place and sheets of paper with chemical formula scrawled across them, many were struck out. The PC with medical training took a glance over these and realised they were hallucinogenic concoxtions. A search of the room discovered a notebook under the bunk. In this they discovered a list of names and dates. The Lt realised it was a list of crew members, ten of them.

The PCs called a meeting of the named crew in the pool and met them there with a small contingent of the merc company. The nurse give them the once over as the PCs started an interrogation. They found that the doctor without authorisation or permission had given all of them shots, claiming that they needed to have them for the trip to Oretroos, to protect them against Oretroos' bugs. A few of the crew also had blank spots in their memories that appeared to match up with the murders.

After a brief discussion about what to do with these people, they asked for volunteers to go into cold storage and suggested that it would be better for everyone, as "who-knew what the chemicals might do"?!  Some volunteered but the idea was not popular, the danger and risk of cold storage put a lot of people off, but in the end the rest were forced into it under duress. This way of putting people on ice proved popular with the PCs. The young man who had seen the body of his lover, was also placed into storage.

When a man came up to the PCs reporting his child missing the PCs feared the worst. They tried to get some information out of the man but he proved more than a little uptight. The man was afraid for his child, and the rumours of "monsters" that had been going round had put him just over the edge. He took off running down the corridor screaming. Trying to keep the lid on things one PC played-up the situation gayly dancing in the man's wake and made it all appear to be an impromptu act of some sort. Alas when the man started barging into staterooms screaming and searching for his son it could not be allowed to continue. He was tackled to the ground and placed under arrest.

They dragged him back to his room and finding an item of the boys clothing asked one of the Vargr if his nose would help in tracking the child. The Vargr was unsure if he was being insulted but in the end agreed to help. After visiting the theater deck where the child was last seen the heroic and skillful Vargr led them to a locked storeroom inside which they found the mutilated body of the missing child. Some mental calculation seemed to suggest that this boy may have been the victim of the one of those already in storage, so all that was left was to get rid of the body. They called the head steward to clean the place up and slipped the boy's remains into what was becoming the "death room", the stateroom of the second victim.

Things went pretty smoothly after that, it was only a short while until they emerged from jump. They found themselves in the middle of nowhere, but this was not because of a mis-jump. A fuel tender was waiting there and a transfer of fuel to the liner commenced. While this was taking place the body that was waiting quietly outside the shuttle airlock (the first victim) was retrieved and thrown into the "death room".

A second jump took place. Tensions were high. The passengers were unnerved by the "missing" people, both passengers and crew. By the roomers of the "monsters", the fight in the pool of course added to it. And these very rich people did not like being so upset, they had paid for the excursion of a life time, not a fear filled ride into hell.

Only one incident of note took place during the second jump. The PCs were called to a fight in the theater. Two men had come to blows. The families had been rivals/enemies for some time. One family had a teenage daughter, the other a teenage son, there had been a relationship that the parent could not countenance.  During the show the men had become aware that the other was also on board and a nudged elbow had turned into a fight.

The PCs arrived and broke the fight up, but decided to make a little money on the side. They encouraged the men to schedule a bout of fisticuffs the next morning. Of course a "book" was started and drinks served, in the forward theater, all without the officers of the ship being aware. The audience of unshaved gentlemen turned up, and the bout played out. When one man hit the canvas (alright, metal floor) the PCs had added another 1100Cr to their pocketbooks.

The arrival at Oretroos went off without a hitch. A shuttle was launched and a survey carried out. they were scouting for a few things. Locations where the passengers could be shuttled down for a swim on the beach, mountain climbing, jungle treks etc. Most importantly they were checking out the autocthones and the location of the Imperial research base. The aim being to avoid the Imperials, and allow passengers to visit the others. Radio signals were picked up from the Imperials and the base's position located.

There ended the session.

However, as I like to tease the next session to the players I made this audio recording of another radio intercept picked up a day or two later...

Radio Intercept

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

Monday, November 17, 2014

Dungeon World session

On Sunday night I took part in my first game  of DW. It was a learning game for players and referee so there was a bit of meta gaming and back and forth with the rules, but not unduly so. It was a short two hour session which included character generation, which ate into our playing time.

It was a fun game that featured our characters waking up caged in a cave and being promptly attacked by some disgusting lizard men. The heroic ranger managed to free us from our suspended prison and we quickly grabbed our weapons before the slimeies got too close. The ranger made good use of his weapons and friendly wolf pet while my cleric got caught up in a bit of a wrestling match. This little bout ended with one lizard tied up and the PCs running up a tunnel to escape.

Once outside the ranger did his rangering and found us a path out of the marsh. Sadly the pesky lizards had other ideas and three of them chased after us. Now was time for the cleric to do the spell thing, and a quick "fear" set the lead lizard back. More melee followed until the remaining Lizzie's broke and ran.

It was a good learning session where we were discovering how to trigger moves and playing them to advantage. There was even a little use of the "bonds" to gather bonuses. I've played Monster of the Week before which has been my only experience of the Apocalypse engine, and that set me up well for this game. As a player its easy to get into this game and start having fun, but only if you realise the mechanism is an aid to the story telling, and that a failed roll is as much fun as a success.

I'm looking forward to the next session. There are more moves I have to make!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Trader's Vengeance - a game book

I have just made my latest game book, "Trader's Vengeance" available in paperback via

Backcover blurb:

After three generations of hard graft the starship that your grandfather, your father, and yourself have all grafted for, is in peril. If you don't make the next payment, you'll lose your livelihood, your home, your ship. There isn't anything that's going to stop you getting the money you need.

With aliens, pirates, robots, criminals, the military and even the police against you, the odds aren't in your favour. This is the time when the real inter-planetary trader come into his own. Warm up the engines, bring the guns online, snap up the cargo, it's time to make some cred.

Traders Vengeance is a game-book where you play the hero and choose the path to take. You decide which enemies to fight and which shipments to make.


As you'll gather, it's science fiction, and set in a Traveller-like universe.

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

Classic Traveller, Time for a Cruise

The PCs had accepted a new mercenary ticket last session. the ticket involved acting as security on a space going cruise liner, the King Richard.

Between sessions I teased with...
Overheard by a mercenary stationed on the bridge of the King Richard, two days into jump, a conversation between the Captain and his First Officer...

"Sir, the engineer was telling me that he had a wobble in one of the Jump-Field generators."

"Damn. Which one?"


"Again? Three months in dock and it's still not straight! Tell him I want it monitored hourly and report made to the me at the change of  every watch.

"Aye Captain."

 ... and then...

All of the MMM (shorthand for the PCs merc' company) on board the King Richard have been issued with ship comm' units in the form of a small hand held device. It's a piece of crap and there are dead spots on the ship where they don't work well.

The officers of MMM are all simultaneously beeped by the ship comm, and asked to attend the Captain in his cabin at their earliest pleasure.

 ... and then the next day...

The Captain clears his throat.

"We have a delicate and urgent matter to attend to, and although I understand it's not really in your regular line of business, I'm afraid I'll have to ask for your assistance."

... and now, on to the actual session.

The Captain went on to explain that there had been a murder on board and that he wanted the PCs, as the only security on board, to investigate. The First Lieutenant took over the briefing and gave them some additional details. The chief steward had discovered a murdered woman  in one of the cabins. The woman's husband and child had been intercepted and diverted into the stateroom of a crew member, putting them on-hold as it were.

The captain broke in to advise the PCs that they needed to keep the whole incident under wraps, the danger of panic on board amongst the passengers must be avoided at all costs. (Also the super rich passengers wouldn't like their digestion interrupted).

Down to the stateroom containing the body. The Lt used a pass key to let them in. Only one PC went in for a look around while they waited for the ships doctor. The stateroom was split into two areas and the PC could see blood splattered across the table, chair, and carpet, he didn't risk peeking around the corner though. He didn't find anything untoward or upset in this first area, other than the smell.

When the ships doctor turned up he immediately recognised the smell, had a flash back of sorts and had to leave the room. A PC kept him company and offered him a "sniff of his cinnamon apple pouch" to help settle him down. Once the doctor had regained his balance he led the PCs into the bedroom. There they found the murdered woman opened up in a horrific way. Face slashed, limbs hacked open along their length and stomach open with the entrails pulled out.

There was some discussion of possible murder weapons, and the doctor could only say that the weapon was a large hacking blade... and yes the hatchets carried by the PCs merc's could be responsible for such wounds.

The Lt reminded the PCs that word of this atrocity should not reach the passengers, and indeed that as few crew should find out about it as possible, lest they start talking which could lead to panic. But the PCs needed to investigate and ask questions, how could they do that without suspicion?

The discussion circled for a while with possible cover stories being discussed, including the truth, biological infections, accidents, infestations, stroke, heart attacks etc. Should they put the body in stasis? This was poo pooed as the cold sleep capsules had glass port holes meaning anyone could see the state of her. They really needed to keep the truth from everyone including the grieving husband and child.

In the end they decided they needed to get rid of the body. With no evidence of a crime, no one could find out about it and start a panic. But how do they get rid of it and explain the lack of a body? Of course! She went "Space Crazy" and then spaced herself! But that was problematic too. There was one passenger air lock and the crazy woman couldn't have exited there without notice, so that left the  the airlocks that only crew could reach which were coded access only... so someone on board must have forgotten to lock up an airlock, simple really.

Now they needed to get the body to an airlock. The washer-woman's wicker basket was out, as the body was too smelly and a bit drippy. It was down to engineering to get a wheeled bin of some sort. While they were there they learned that there was no video surveillance on board (not surprising considering they were cruising to a forbidden zone, and no-one wants evidence of their presence). They also discovered that the door locks didn't record who opened a door, only the times last ten or so openings and closings.

Later an engineer would visit the door-lock and inform them of the opening and closing of the door. From his description, they assumed she had returned to the room then opened the door to admit someone else a few minutes later.  Only a very few minutes after that the door had been opened again, presumably the killer leaving.

Armed with the plastic bin they bundled the body into it, and sealed the top with plastic and tape. They left the Chief Steward cleaning the room (he'd discovered the victim so already knew about here) and headed down to the shuttle bay.

At this point I checked their skill lists to see what they knew about jump-space tech. I found nothing relevant.

They manhandled the body through the shuttle to it's loading ramp. They cycled the lock and opened themselves to jump space. Pulling the body out and giving it a heave they sent it drifting out into ... into... the stasis field that surrounds a ship in jump, and there it still hangs, and will hang until they drop out of jump. [insert referee's evil grin here]

The investigation kind of petered out here, and the PCs retired for the night, after stepping up the security patrols their mercs were making.

They were soon awakened by a call from Orrkselghu the leader of their Vargr contingent, he needed them to come to him. He couldn't say more as the comm's were open. When they reached him he was standing with a distressed young man held firmly in his paw. It turned out there had been another murder, this young man's lover as it turned out. In the stateroom they found a similar situation, a man's body torn open, blood everywhere. There were differences too. First victim was female, this male. The first murder was in a plush state room, this one on a different deck and a cheaper state room (although all rooms on the ship are hideously expensive).

Some passengers saw the armed Vargr escorting the young man to a crew stateroom where he would be held until things could be cleaned up.

First thoughts of the party: Psycho serial killer on the ship while it's in-jump for a week.

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

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Classic Traveller, The Scam is on...sort of.

As you may remember our heroes were waiting in the rented factory unit for a call back from the operative who was looking at the robot.

Between sessions I teased the players with a story prompt...

Orrkselghu (aka Zeus) pads over to you, his personal radio squarking the Vargr language. He speaks Vargr into the the radio, which goes silent then turns his attention to the away team.

(aka Jeff), out front, says he heard a crash some distance off and now he can hear shooting. He lusts for a fight."

The PCs (never ones to turn down a fight) locked and loaded...

 Orrkselghu (aka Zeus) barks into his radio. Then turning back to you guys he says.
(aka Jeff) is scouting." Then looking directly at Jocko says. "Will you lead the war party?" As he waits for your reply, you notice his mouth is held open, a Vargr-smile...

PC Jocko headed out with a few of the Vargr mercs. Jeff reported from a roof top that a car had crashed, the occupants debouched and were exchanging fire with men from another vehicle. Climbing to the roof himself Jocko got into a position above the crashed car. From here he could see the nearest shooters were dressed in civilian clothes and toting rifles (illegal on this world) and their opponents were pistol-armed coppers. The vargr troopers were ordered to act as a blocking force at various intersections interposed between the fire fight and the warehouse.

After assessing the scene, Jocko donned his good-boy hat and decided to help out the cops. He smashed the car with a grenade, blowing it sky high, and taking out four of the eight shooters. Considering that the odds were now even enough for the cops he and the Vargr pulled back to the warehouse.

Around this time the chaps in the warehouse got a call that Alfred Vicek Head of Purchasing, he would be paying a visit (a step up from the low grade company rep who'd previously come to look at the robot). He was on the moon and could pop over. Sadly this didn't work out too well, by the time he'd arrived the police had set up a cordon around the industrial district as they looked for more shooters. Alfred was stopped at a police check point and couldn't get in.

Now the PCs had to devise a plan to get this man through the road block...after some careful consideration they decided that the answer would be more violence! Jocko and Oeldzokghog (aka Jeff) set out again. They climbed to a rooftop near the blockade and Jocko aimed his grenade launcher in order to get maximum range. By causing explosions in the distance they hoped to draw away the cops.

He fired. Short. The grenade hit a building just a short distance away. Explosions, fire, police reaction, some of the cops were drawn away, a partial success. As Jocko and Jeff climbed down started running for the warehouse a cop spotted them. "Halt! Police!" Jocko shouted for Jeff to follow and started to run, but Jeff just growled the Vargr word for "coward" and opened fire on the cop.

Realising the situation had turned bad Jocko took off that good-boy hat, stomped it into the ground, spat on it, and took his lifetime-of-crime hat out, and donned it as he opened fire on the cop. Bullets tore through the prone copper's head and blasted out his back. They ran for the warehouse.

A bit of technical cleverness by PC Jenkins had the computer purring and they soon had a good read on police procedures. They knew if they hunkered down and didn't answer the door the cops wouldn't have the right to enter and search. So they sat quietly and waited for the inevitable search of the area and started plotting on how to get the heck out of this situation.

They remembered a merc-ticket they had turned down, that involved a dodgey looking chap wanting to hire the company to destroy an Imperial base. They had set an ex-cop (and) merc recruit to follow him as he'd been so-very-dodgey.  They now decided to turn this to their advantage.

The plan was for another merc to plant arms and ammunition on this guy and then have the ex-cop call his buddies and mount a raid, this would draw the few cops in the area away from the search. Plan!

Unfortunately the merc they talked into doing the planting returned from the job and reported that he was worried he'd be recognised. He arrived at the dodgey guy's hotel and had to ask in reception what room was his. When he'd got to the room the door was locked, so he'd kicked it in, threw the guns in and run for it... Not exactly the covert operation the PCs had hoped for. Anyway, the raid took place and it drew the cops away from the industrial sector. They loaded men and machines up onto a truck, headed for the air-lock, moved into the shuttle and took off to spend some time hiding on the dark side of a moon somewhere until the heat died away...

Meanwhile, back with the home-team PCs, another prospective customer for the mercenary unit turned up at the air-lock. he turned out to be Wicus Tyna, a representative of Cumberland Tours Inc. The tour company had a liner running "exciting" holidays for rich patrons. By exciting, the company meant often slightly illegal.

Wicus was in a bind. The liner "King Richard" was due to leave the next morning to visit the prohibited system Oretroos, and they had no guards. The liner always carried a contingent of guards because that made the customers feel much safer. So, with precious little time, he suddenly needed 100 guards. He was authorised to spend as much as 1,000,000Cr getting the guards.

There was a short negotiation, and then a stutter when it Wicus discovered they only had about 50 men rather than the required 100. However, they soon put his fears to rest when they showed the heavy equipment and power armour they would be bringing. He decided that would more than make up for a lack of numbers. It was all about making the customers feel safe, and what would be safer than being surrounded by walking tanks!

A recall alert was issued to the mercs on leave and everything made ready. The Home-team PCs wouldn't be going on the mission however as they had to stay behind as the official witness' to the changeover the subsector governorship.

There ended the session. But what of the Oretroos? Let's read the Imperial catalog of planets...

Oretroos - RED ZONE (thin atmos, 70% water)
Under Imperial edict this system is out of bound. Proto-intelligent race developing. Only allowed visitors are the 1000 strong Imperial study team.

Hmmm... and what happened to the King Richard's previous guards? Oh I'm going to have so much fun. :)

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

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Classic Traveller, The Scam is Off

The players were all set up to put the hit on Garty Jules, to raid his home steal his stuff and rip off his soon-to-be-ex wife Piertrie Hoolane...and we had to call off the session due to real life. Doh! Then this Friday rolls around and one of the players couldn't make it. So we opted to avoid the hit and follow up another thread of the story.

A while back the players were given a letter of introduction by the head of a mega corp (InDes) to help them get in to see the imperial sub-sector leader (known as the Secretary General). In a previous session they had swung by the palace and dropped off their letter of introduction and been assured that it would be passed on and someone would be in touch.

Well, no one had been in touch so they headed off to the palace. They walked passed the guards on the steps and into reception where they once again met Shiela Cooperski the receptionist. After a little prompting she remembered that she'd forwarded the letter onto the Argonavar ( a word meaning - he that makes appointments ). She directed the PCs to his office across the street.

Arriving at the Argonovar's office, a secretary led them in to see Davida Thelop. This old gentleman was sat behind his desk which was piled high with papers. When asked, he declared that he had no letter of introduction and started moving papers from one pile to another in order to prove he didn't have it. The search proved fruitless. The PCs pointed out that the letter of introduction had been sent over and demanded to know where it was. Davida suggest that they might have a word with Criate Xylander of the Tailorband, as it was the Tailorband's duty to transport documentation.

They wended their way to the office of the Tailorband and eventually discovered Xylander's office. They were led in and this well appointed gentleman offered them drinks. He then proceeded to explain how awful the paperwork system was, and that it could easily take months to process the sort of request they were making. The PCs started getting a greasy feel from this man, and they jumped straight to the point and asked him "how much?" They were shocked when he reported that something along the lines of 50,000Cr would be a suitable amount. In fact it raised their ire! After some unfriendly back and forth they left.

They were not done with Mr Xylander. A few of their mercs were encouraged to deliver a message to Xylander. The message included 50,000Cr delivered in a beautiful box, itself worth 50,000Cr which had to be handed to Mr  a back alley after he had been beaten into a state of extreme regret.

The next day found the PCs back in the office of the Argonvar. Apparently the missing letter had been found! The PCs noticed that the Argonvar's desk happened to have a certain beautiful box sitting on its surface, and that gave them pause for thought. The Argonovar gave them a new letter of introduction, this time to the Chief of the Guardsmans Directorate, a man called Carter Helum.

Carter turned out to be a bit of an officious ass and demanded to see their permits and permissions. "No one can just go and see the Secretary General!" After a short discussion he told the PCs that they might be able to obtain the required permits from Lee Arthurons, the Assistant Admissions Advisor.

Off they went to the next building on the strip to find Lee's office. When they found Lee, he was a pipsqueak of man and close to tears, as his boss Rarth Gillani the Admissions Advisor had been shouting at him! They asked Lee if they could get the permits and permission and he told the PCs that only his boss Rarth could issue those. Lee was too scared to go in and see his boss in case he started shouting again. Feeling a little sorry for Lee, the PCs went in to see Rarth on their own account. The man demanded to know what the heck they wanted, didn't they know he was busy, he didn't have time for interruptions, why didn't they get the hell out...They told him what they wanted, and when they introduced one of their number as the Marquis, the man calmed down enough to toss them a chit, telling them that would do.

As they left the office the PCs in a very comradely manner gave Lee their card, and suggest he could call if his boss got out of hand.

Back to the Chief of the Guardsmans Directorate. Carter was a little taken aback when they presented the chit, it wasn't what he'd expected, but it was more than sufficient. He quickly wrote them a letter of introduction to present to Kyle Soloiani, a Palace Security Guard.

They headed back to the palace asked one of the guards out front where they could find Soloiani, and it turned out to the the other security guard standing right there in front of them! Soloiani took a look at the letter, and told them they should go into the palace reception and speak to Shiela Cooperski...

The PCs remonstrated that they had started there! Soloiani realised what had happened and told them that they needed to see Daveland Wathoon who was the Proxy Insistance, as he'd be able sort them out.

They headed over to Daveland's office. When they told him that they wanted to see Secretary General, Daveland put his head in his hands and asked them if they were sure? They confirmed it. "Follow me," he said. and led them into the palace, through some very grand rooms and a kitchen and into a store room that had a hole in the floor and dirt scattered everywhere. Daveland dropped through the hole and led the PCs along an extensive hand-dug tunnel. At a point where it widened out a little Daveland stopped and told them to proceed as Taylor Ulebenga the Secretary General, could be found further on.

They crab-walked along the tunnel, the sounds of a pick striking rock getting louder and louder. At the face of the tunnel they found a man dressed in Imperial robes hacking at the rock with a pick. They had found the Secretary General.

In the ensuing conversation the PCs came to realise that the man was a nut job. In answer to the question "what are you doing down here", he told them he was building his legacy. A hollowed out moon dug with his own hands to pass on to those that some after. He calmly stated that he would be rejuvenated in order to finish this job which he thought would take 700 or 800 years. Nutter!

The sly old PC's discovered that the nutter didn't like being distracted from his "work" by all the silly Imperial business that Daveland kept bothering him with. So they played a game encouraging Daveland to keep bothering the leader and at the same time suggesting to the said leader, that he should perhaps teach Daveland a lesson by making him Secretary General and making him deal with all the "silly Imperial Business".

They returned to the tunnels the next day and it was but the work of a moment to get the Secretary General to flip out. He stormed up to his office grabbed the Imperial Seal, and with a joyous revenge handed it to Daveland making him the Secretary General, before heading back to his tunnel.

There were scenes of jubilation, the PCs were official witnesses to the handing over of power. They took Daveland aside for a moment to remind him who his friends were, and that favours would be well received.

There ended the session. After toppling the sub-sector government I think we can all call that a good session. :)

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