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Browsing Posts in Traveller: The New Deal

Spinward Star, LLP

Corporate Retreat, Part Three

    • Dirtside on Porozlo, Sae observes the approach of the utility vertols and is then startled when Aris passes out after eating some of the newly delivered pizza. The vargr opts to act quickly: he breaks into and hotwires a pair of cars.
    • The rest of the crew exit Sam’s apartment and take the stairs down. Along the way, upon hearing loud noises emanating from the roof, Ella pulls a convenient fire alarm which results in many people in the apartment building attempting to escape as well.
    • Sae, upon seeing armored personnel lurking outside the building while numerous building inhabitants come streaming out, decides to cause a distraction by firing a couple of rounds in the air. This results in chaos as some of the civilians see the armored people and go for weapons which results in some of the armed troopers shooting back.
    • Whoever is running this op orders the troopers to withdraw as distant sirens can be heard. The crew (sans Aris and Sae) don’t immediately rush out but instead try to help the casualties until the EMTs arrive, then make their escape (after grabbing Aris who they discover passed out in the back of an idling car.)
    • The crew decided to take Aris to an urgent care clinic where they learned he’d been roofied. Relying on common sense, I had the on-call medic refer this to a cop who checked with the PCs … who failed their Fast Talk rolls and gave conflicting stories. This led the cop to call this in which resulted in Detective Kennex showing up again. After giving him the full story, he arranged to have them taken to the precinct to fill out paperwork and make statements.
    • In the police SUV, the crew (sans Sae who has lurked in the periphery to avoid notice) are startled when one of the utility vertols drops out of nowhere and opens fire, grievously injuring the driver. Ella takes over and expertly escapes the vertol. Behind, in a rented car, Sae observes a half dozen air skimmers suddenly attack the vertol which is forced to retreat very quickly.
    • At the hospital where the crew has taken the injured driver, the crew converse again with Kennex who is understandably frustrated at these events. Against his captain’s orders, Kennex arranges to get the crew out of the city via a train while he tries to figure out what is going on.
    • The crew board the train-bus Pod and with loud clanks and hisses, it pulls out of New Gevae…

GM Notes:

      • I thought this episode was a complete mess. The PCs kept catching me off-guard; Sae’s decision to cause the distraction with the discharge of guns, for example, caused me to go all blue-screen of death. The pulling of the fire alarm was not obvious thing that I should have been prepared for but wasnt. Further, the decision on the part of the PCs to stay behind to attend the casualties was totally in-character for many of the PCs but something I had not considered at all.
      • As the PCs got on the train … bus … thing (we started calling it a ‘Pod’ I think), I had each player describe a passenger. Amusingly, the last time we were on a train, the GM at the time did the same thing…
      • Since we’re livestreaming our games every Saturdays (6:00PM Eastern) at Ronnke’s Twitch channel and then later uploading the stream on the YouTube channel, we’ve decided to dial back on the extensiveness of the recap to just the overall outline..

Digloiotti says soldiers killed in border skirmish with Stepozhevac

GIOMAE, Democratic Republic of Digloiotti (Traveller News Service) – Digloiotti soldiers were killed and wounded in a cross-border skirmish with Stepozhevac troops this week, Democratic Republic of Digloiotti’s military said on Tuday.

Each side accused the other of violating the poorly-demarcated border, the scene of periodic clashes in recent years. During the recently ended world war, millions of people were killed in wars in the region.

Donovon Ndjike, a spokesman for Digloiotti’s army in East Kiivo province, said he did not yet have exact figures but that Wonday’s fighting broke out when an army patrol came under fire from Stepozhevac troops 200 meters into Digloiotti territory.

“According to our information, there were deaths and injuries during the exchange of fire, which took place several hours before the two countries declared a ceasefire,” Ndjike said.

Stepozhevac’s army denied it had crossed the border in response to Count Anjiliac’s demand for a report stating instead that Digloiotti troops “violated our territorial border and subsequently attacked our defensive position”.

Both sides asked the count to dispatch a team to investigate the incident.

Since the end of two major wars in eastern Digloiotti between 1100-1107, Stepozhevac has backed a series of insurrections in the region, saying its actions were necessary to neutralize perpetrators of Stepozhevac’s 1098 genocide who fled to eastern Digloiotti.

Reporting By Fiston Ross

Spinward Star, LLP

Corporate Retreat, Part Two

  • Dirtside on Porozlo, Buck arrives in time to see Ella and Haank being led out of the mall toward waiting ground-skimmers. Suddenly, an unseen sniper engages the group, killing two and sending the rest scattering. The crew manage to retrieve their weapons as the team led by “Roxy” are either reduced or flee.
  • On the highport, Eddy and Sae are cornered by a trio of addicts; when Sae kills one and grievously injures a second, they order their makeshift drone to engage. It does but uses riot gas, which blocks line-of-sight by the survivors (who are calling up the ‘rest of da boyz’) but forces Eddy and Sae to retreat and find an alternate escape plan.
  • The crew dirtside are interviewed by responding police but are released, thanks in part to Haank having vid of the encounter. The lead cop – Detective Kennix – especially takes a liking to Ella and provides her his contact info. In case she needs … anything.
  • Eddy and Sae meet Aris (who has temporarily damaged Jim’s weapon systems), then head dirtside upon receiving Haank’s summons. They arrive just as the police are letting the other members of the crew go.
  • The Crew then decide to investigate Sam’s place which they locate easily enough. While Aris and Sae wait downstairs (particularly for the pizza that Eddy just ordered), the others head up and break into Sam’s apartment, hoping to find some sign of him.
  • Eddy begins canvassing the other apartments, introducing himself as a ‘friend of Sam’s’ but this proves to be problematic when he tries to smooth talk a young lady only to discover she has a musclebound boyfriend on a hair trigger. He also gathers (from certain familiar clues) that Sam might have been a little too friendly with this lady. A fight ensues that Haank intervenes in so he can take down the tankhead.
  • Outside, Sae hears a familiar sound and observes the approach of two unmarked dropships. While one provides overwatch, the other deploys some of its armed personnel…

GM Notes:

  • A bit more disjointed than I would have liked. I should have run the two ‘combats’ simultaneously instead of splitting them up like I did so as to avoid having so much dead-time for fully half the party.
  • I’m still getting a handle on certain parts of the Traveller universe – the ‘highport,’ for example … I only just realized that all ‘official’ starports are run by the Imperium (though a planet might have lesser spaceports. As a result, the CR was retconned a bit. Not that it mattered to Sae who has that stealth attache case thing…
  • Since we’re livestreaming our games every Saturdays (6:00PM Eastern) at Ronnke’s Twitch channel and then later uploading the stream on the YouTube channel, we’ve decided to dial back on the extensiveness of the recap to just the overall outline..

Spinward Star, LLP

Corporate Retreat, Part One

  • Seven days after reuniting with Admiral Gloval, the crew departs 627-301 and head for Porozlo. Ninety-six days pass.
  • Upon arrival at Porozlo, the crew split to their own interests.
  • Buck encounters Ulysses Pitt, his commercial enemy, and the two end up getting drunk together which patches up their relationship.
  • Sae is summoned to his Imperial Intelligence contacts where he discovers that his operation in the Aramis sub-sector was wholly unsanctioned!
  • Eddy is mugged on the station and attempts to pursue the thief but the man escapes. Furious, he reaches out to Sae for help in hunting this guy down.
  • Ella and Haank go dirtside for the court date with Monsaanti-Neogene Corporation where they get hints that MNC was not expecting any members of the crew to show up. Afterward, Haank is contacted by “Roxy” who he believes is Sam’s latest girlfriend; she arranges to meet him and Ella at a nearby (familiar) mall food court.
  • Meanwhile, Eddy and Sae have tracked down the former’s mugger in a run-down hostel where they discover him dead, evidently of an overdose. They search the body and room but do not find the stolen monies. Sae, however, discovers a concealed camera observing the room and, as he attempts to get it, armored men kick in some doors…
  • At the food court, Ella and Haank meet with Roxy with the former quickly becoming suspicious. Her deception revealed, Roxy makes a signal and suddenly, the two are surrounded by armed personnel…

GM Notes:

  • Andricus was out for this session.
  • Spent a little more time than I would have liked trying to figure out how much each PC was paid.
  • We skipped the 96-day trip to Porozlo because it wasn’t all that relevant.
  • Since we’re livestreaming our games every Saturdays (6:00PM Eastern) at Ronnke’s Twitch channel and then later uploading the stream on the YouTube channel, we’ve decided to dial back on the extensiveness of the recap to just the overall outline..

Spinward Star, LLP

Crucible, Part Five

  • Flashback: Ten minutes earlier, on the engineering deck, Rolemnarla sneaks around like a gobliny Obi-Wan Kenobi. He remains undetected and appears to cause a massive cascade failure. Alarms shriek, warning of imminent core containment failure. All hands are warned to evacuate.
  • The ‘exfiltration’ team made up of Ella, Buck and Aris ‘borrow’ the system defense boat and launch, hoping to hook up with the ‘rescue’ team on the medical deck; simultaneously, the ‘rescue’ team (Haank, Eddy & Sae … plus the unconscious Ibrahim) opt to get off the station via an escape pod. The two groups reunite soon after.
  • A fast gig is observed leaving the station, protected by six fighters. Three of these fighters angle sharply toward the system defense boat, las-guns flashing. A fierce lightfight ensues, leaving the three fighters destroyed and the SDB lightly damaged.
  • The crew are able to deduce the destination of the gig: a jump system grav-anchored alongside an icy planetesimal. Recognizing their only way out of system, Ella aims toward it as well and a race is on! The three fighters then move to engage the SDB while the gig continues to burn hard toward the jump shuttle.
  • Two of the fighters are destroyed and, when Eddy’s attempts to talk the gig into surrendering fails, it too is shot down.
  • A strike carrier arrives in-system during the fight, commanded by Admiral Gloval, much to everyone’s surprise. The crew then realize that far more time has passed than the two or so days they’ve experienced. They’ve lost more than 188 days…

GM Notes:

  • We used GURPS: Spaceships for the lightfight and it worked fairly well. I made a couple of mistakes along the way, but that’s par for the course. I also introduced a spaceships range band chart that was heavily influenced by the starship range chart thing in the first d20 Star Wars RPG (which, ironically, I hated at the time because I was so accustomed to actually using miniatures for everything.) We then used some modified Chase rules that I sort of hashed out before the case for the race. I’m thinking of  trying to rewrite them and maybe submit them to Pyramid magazine…
  • This completes Season 4, Adventure 1: Crucible.
  • Since we’re livestreaming our games every Saturdays (6:00PM Eastern) at Ronnke’s Twitch channel and then later uploading the stream on the YouTube channel, we’ve decided to dial back on the extensiveness of the recap to just the overall outline..

Spinward Star, LLP

Crucible, Part Four

  • Flashback: Ten minutes earlier, in the medical, the three rescued spacers from the INS Drake wake from low berth, begin screaming, and then start killing everyone present. Alarms sound.
  • The crew are reunited and, with LT Thanisson’s aid, formulate a plan that requires them to split up. Haank will take Eddie and Sae (acting as a prisoner) to rescue Abe, while Ella will lead Aris and Buck to the flight deck to “liberate” the system defense boat.
  • Both groups are forced to go through security checkpoints but encounter no real difficulty thanks to Thanisson’s remote assistance.
  • In surgical area, the rescue team discover that Abe has been implanted with some sort of implant by a sociopathic doctor who is very pleased that this subject survived. Sae has had enough and shoots the man in the head. While escaping, the crew are set upon by security personnel and must defend themselves.
  • At the same time, Ella’s time encounters resistance in the form of the system defense boat’s crew but handily cut them down in a short but fierce firefight.
  • Suddenly, the entire station trembles. Alarms begin sounding: ‘Core breach detected. You now have ten minutes to reach minimum safe distance…”

GM Notes:

  • The simultaneous firefights on two different maps was an experiment that worked out nicely, though in the future, I will need to name some of the bad guys differently so as to better differentiate between them.
  • No one was really surprised that Sae shot the doctor after the state they found Abe in.
  • Since we’re livestreaming our games every Saturdays (6:00PM Eastern) at Ronnke’s Twitch channel and then later uploading the stream on the YouTube channel, we’ve decided to dial back on the extensiveness of the recap to just the overall outline..

Spinward Star, LLP

Crucible, Part Three

  • Flashback: Sae is interrogated by Imperial Intelligence types.
  • Crew is in the fighters, thrusting away from the INS Drake and are intercepted by a systems defense boat that provides them oxygen and coordinates.
  • Coordinates lead them to a space station. On the station, crew meet LT Thanisson who Sae realizes is an Imperial Intelligence agent.
    Crew forced to go through decon but are gassed instead.
  • Wake up in cells. Abe is missing. Sae is escorted to interrogation by Thanisson, discovers that not only is Abe a psi but he’s being experimented on! Sae’s cybernetics are reactivated by Thanisson and he attacks.
  • In cells, a new alien the crew do not know is brought into the cellblocks by more guards who begin to beat it. The crew are enraged (thanks to subtle psionics by the alien) and, when the cells open, attack the guards.
  • As the last of the guards collapse … alarms begin sounding.

GM Notes:

  • Had to cut the session early due to work issues.
  • We were all very amused by Aris’ battle madness.
  • Since we’re livestreaming our games every Saturdays (6:00PM Eastern) at Ronnke’s Twitch channel and then later uploading the stream on the YouTube channel, we’ve decided to dial back on the extensiveness of the recap to just the overall outline..

Spinward Star, LLP

Crucible, Part Two

  • We open with flashback for Buck as he recalls something about his youth that he did not remember previously. Apparently, he has a highborn cousin who arranged for his memories to be altered.
  • Back aboard the INS Drake, the crew attempt to figure out what’s going on. This results in the discovery of a great many corpses, all of whom appear to have killed themselves.
  • When Eddy finally breaches aft engineering, he is horrified to discover an armless, legless human being secured in a bizarre contraption tied to the ship’s systems via cybernetic implants. Telepathically, this individual relates his horrific agony and desire simply to die.
  • Some hours later, just as the crew are beginning to settle in for the Jump, the Drake abruptly returns to realspace with a hideous shudder. To their horror, they realize that they are dangerously close to a black hole! Something explosively self-destructs and the entire aft end of the Drake is torn free, crippling the vessel.
  • The crew desperately race to figure out how to escape and ultimately decide to use the Sparrowhawk fighters still present. One such fighter is nonfunctional and they have discovered three of the Drake’s crew in low-berths, so it is decided to jury-rig fives ‘freezers’ to the fighters (three for the crew, two for Aris and Buck.)
  • We end with the fighters launching…

GM Notes:

  • As GM, I made a few errors here.
  • First, I should have actually read up on the radiation stuff (even though there actually wasn’t any radiation) because it came up.
  • Aris is a Klutz and in my notes, I specifically intended for him to be responsible for the aft end of the Drake getting torn free and he fumbles something, it causes a malfunction, which results in a cascade feedback and then boom. And, of course, when that point came in the game, I completely forgot about this plan and did not remember it until well after.
  • Finally, and this is something Gigermann brought up after the fact, I really should have had all the people in the cockpits of the fighters make their launch rolls secretly (or “into the box” as we say) and then end the session without letting them know what the results were apart from “Fighters … launch!”
  • Since we’re livestreaming our games every Saturdays (6:00PM Eastern) at the Olympus Twitch channel and then later uploading the stream on the YouTube channel, we’ve decided to dial back on the extensiveness of the recap to just the overall outline.

Spinward Star, LLP

Crucible, Part One

Scene 1:

  • Open with Ella Stanbridge being interrogated by unknown agents, then flash back to the moment of escape.
  • Crew are racing toward malfunctioning gate, having rescued Sae who is grievously injured thanks to his escape pod getting damaged.
  • Pass through malfunctioning gate, which hyper-accelerates the Aimless Pilgrim far faster than it is designed to handle which hurls many of the crew into bulkheads and the like, resulting in many broken limbs. Chief Engineer Enzo Arabejo is grievously injured when his skull is smashed into something.
  • The Pilgrim is boarded by freaked out and trigger-happy marines. Several of the PCs realize that the unit patches worn by these armored marines indicate this is Gazulin, some 53 parsecs away from Corfu!
  • As the crew is taken aboard a strike carrier, Aris and Haank are able to see where the Pilgrim emerged from: one of Gazulin’s moons. And it has melted.

Scene 2:

  • For the next thirty days or so, the crew are kept isolated from one another and repeatedly interrogated about how they managed to Jump so close to the sub-sector capital.
  • Eventually, as their stories seem to add up, they are relocated to a lower security prison but the interrogations continue, albeit sometimes in groups and now with more scientists than intelligence spooks.
  • Everyone notes that Ibrahim seems more detached and quiet than normal but he passes it off first as a bad reaction to the drugs he received during interrogation and then due to his ‘break-up’ with Lorain.
  • Admiral Gloval manages to obtain the crew’s release but is forced to do some missions for Gazulin Intelligence. He also reveals that Enzo lived, but the engineer suffered severe brain damage due to the accident and is currently in a hospice for treatment.
  • The crew departs Gazulin at the earliest opportunity, their initial destination: Peridot.

Scene 3:

  • The Pilgrim heads to Peridot but does not land; they refuel then jump to a seemingly empty system though Gloval knows better. He informs the crew that he has been instructed to scout out some abnormal activity detected here.
  • Eventually, a very faint transmission is detected in-system which leads them to a seemingly derelict INS Drake. The large corvette-sized vessel is mostly powered down and Ella takes her crew aboard with Armin flying the launch.
  • The crew boards but finds everything pretty much powered down; Haank attempts to reactivate the auxiliary power unit but it fails quickly, indicating that the batteries have been expended. Ella decides to split the team – she, Abe and Aris will remain on the bridge to monitor while everyone else accompanies Buck to the engineering section to power systems back up.
  • Reaching the forward engineering compartment requires manually opening several hatches, but eventually they reach their destination and Buck begins bringing systems online.
  • Abruptly, the Drake lurches forward and its weapons systems inexplicably fire, damaging the Aimless Pilgrim! Buck automatically reaches for the manual shutoff … but his hand freezes in mid-air!
  • And then, the Drake makes a surprise Jump…

GM Notes:

  • I (Rigil) have officially taken over GM duties for this campaign. I’ve been jonesing to run some sci-fi for a while now and my original intent – “run a one-off adventure” – quickly morphed into a potentially massive story arc that could take an entire year or more to finish. As this would mean nobody else has to run for a while, there haven’t been any complaints.
  • Due to school and other real life obligations, Loki had to bow out of rejoining us so Armin has been relegated NPC status. The same obviously holds true for Abe, my PC.
  • Since we’re livestreaming our games every Saturdays (6:00PM Eastern) at Ronnke’s Twitch channel and then later uploading the stream on the YouTube channel, we’ve decided to dial back on the extensiveness of the recap to just the overall outline..

Spinward Star, LLP

Live Stream

Running the Gauntlet

With the away team secure in the launch bay where they begin undergoing decon, Admiral (retired) Gloval orders the Aimless Pilgrim to combat stations while they begin burning toward the gate that will carry them back to Corfu. The three other starships in this pocket dimension – the Imperial patrol cruiser, Lightning; the Vargr corsair; and the Kalamanaru freighter – are already en route.

Almost immediately, the four ships engage one another; thanks to the slow zone’s effects, all missiles launched are easily torn apart by point-defense systems, but lasers engage easily enough. The lead Kalamanaru ship is hit multiple times – the Pilgrim’s gunners concentrate on it as word has gone out that they cannot allow the pirates to escape – and quickly begins to trail debris; seeing that they will be unable to avoid firing after all, the Kalmanaru ship brings its own guns online. At the same time, the Imperial patrol cruiser and the Vargr corsair exchange fire, ripping into one another and causing massive damage.

Without warning, a ‘high gee alert’ sounds throughout the Aimless Pilgrim and their velocity rapidly increases – whatever was preventing them from accelerating above a top speed has changed, which everyone presumes is due to the protomoss back on that space station. This changes little, however, and the four ships continue their mad race toward the Corfu gate, still exchanging fire. The Kalamanaru freighter absorbs even greater damage – the Pilgrim gunner and begins tumbling out of control; they aren’t going anywhere.

A salvo of missiles launched at the Pilgrim by the Vargr corsair abruptly bank hard for no apparent reason, making them easy pickings for the point defense. As the Imperial patrol cruiser orients onto an approach vector with the Corfu gate, the Vargr corsair darts in front of it, clearly intending on escaping first. Seconds later, one of the corsair’s drives flames out and the vessel misses the gate’s event horizon, instead impacting with the great ring itself. The gate immediately begins flickering wildly, though that does not stop the patrol cruiser from continuing its hard burn through the portal.

From the bridge, Gloval comms Ella – they’re receiving an SOS from an escape pod launched from the Vargr ship and it appears to be using Sae’s codes! Shaking her head in irritation, Ella asks that her errant crewman be retrieved. This deviation slows the Pilgrim down briefly, which allows the Lightning to roar through the fluctuating Corfu gate … and an instant later, the gate goes dark.

Panic is about to set in as sensors have detected massive energy fluctuations at the station when Lorain suddenly has a brainstorm. She gets on the comm and instructs her uncle to use the activation device they left with Gloval and set it to a specific coordinates. It works as a distant gate suddenly activates. With no other options, Gloval orders them to make a hard burn to this escape route.

With a brilliant flash, the Pilgrim transits through the gate and then …

Player Notes:

  • CommJunkee’s Traveller run has officially ended with this session. Although it was much shorter than normal, he left use on a nice cliffhanger that will be addressed when I (Rigil Kent) pick up this campaign. As the bulk of this session was a space battle or dealing with technical issues, the recap is by necessity lighter than normal.
  • Next week, Gigermann’s Dungeon Fantasy game is scheduled to begin. Both Andricus and Loki are sitting that game out, but Feste will be rejoining us.
  • We experimented with running a space battle more as a Chase which was a partial success. Mistakes were made along the way, particularly with regards to range; what we should have done (which didn’t occur to a lot of us until too late) is utilize the Dogfighting Chase rules that were in a Pyramid magazine issue.
  • Ran into some irritating technical issues that are likely due to Fantasy Grounds releasing a major new update to their software and our GURPS ruleset not officially supported by it. There may have been some conflict with a layers extension that CommJunkee was using.
  • As stated above, we’ve started livestreaming our games. We play on Saturdays at 6:00PM Eastern and the live stream can be found at Ronnke’s Twitch channel. He’s also setup a YouTube Channel. Bear with us, please. This is still in it’s infancy. We have discovered that Twitch keeps the recordings only for two weeks, so it’s a good thing that he published to YouTube. With that in mind, I’ve removed the Twitch link for the “LiveStream” bit at the top.