Saturday, 4 July 2015

Traveller - Star Trader: part 3

Fpozz/Foreven (2933 D000320-9 As Lo)

Day 77
As the captain and Orneev set out for Ulorry aboard the Terpsichore, Diula and the Doc are left with time to kill amongst the asteroids at Fpozz.

There are 21 days to account for before the party is reunited. This works out to three weeks, each of which will be played through according to Travelling Alone.

I'll also roll for Port Events once per week on the Star Trader table; Fpozz is too sparsely populated and spread out to justify any World Events.

There is also the matter of the 1d6 complications roll at the end of the previous post. I rolled 1d20 to determine what day to apply the indicated event, on the assumption that nothing momentous would happen the very same day that the others left. On day [1d20=] 11 I will roll 1d6 to see what happens. Being roughly halfway through the second week, I'll assume day 11 is whenever they arrive at the Options section of the Travelling Alone sequence. As usual, entries passed through without action or incident (sell equipment, healing, etc) will be omitted from the narrative.

Week 1

Upkeep: Since they will definitely kill each other if they try to stay cooped up in the ship the whole time, they will be paying normal upkeep costs of SOCxSOCx10 out-of-pocket. Diula pays cr640, the Doc cr1000. Luckily he has earned 2 months salary aboard ship, as he mustered out with no savings. I figure a lot of their money is spent on shuttle tickets between various asteroid habitats. Also liquor.

Buy equipment: They manage to find someone selling small arms out of the hold of their ship. Whether the guy has raided the ship's locker or is just monetising the possessions of deceased crew members, they do not ask. But since both Diula and the Doc are hoping to acquire "special cargo", they feel it would be prudent to be armed with more than just knives whilst consorting with the criminal element.

Diula buys a loaded body pistol for cr520. The Doc buys a loaded revolver for cr105. Fpozz's Law Level of 0 means they can carry the weapons everywhere; indeed they could be walking around with lasers on their backs for all anyone cares. The Tech Level (9) is also high enough that buying the items here isn't a stretch.

Options (may take any action): Diula attempts to find the criminal element. She needs a roll of 10+ on streetwise; 8+1 = failure. The criminals either don't want to talk to her, or simply aren't here now.

Seek Patron: A patron encounter is indicated. Rolling on the CT patrons table comes up with Crew Member. I used the Star Trader ship encounter tables to determine what kind of ship [1-3 m, 4-6 f; 6] she's a crew member on: Type A2 Far Trader. Rolling a random crew position results in Gunner.

[Q: What does she want? Oppress / The innocent: another member of her crew (1d6= the captain) has hacked her off and she wants some petty revenge. Offers 1d6=cr4000each.
Q: Do they agree? 50/50: 04, Exceptional yes.]

In one of the habitat lounge areas that answer for a starport bar in this asteroid belt, Diula and the Doc run into a solomani woman named Tersheen, a gunner on the Helen, a Far Trader which has recently arrived in port. They get to talking, and after a few drinks have loosened her tongue, she launches into an extended tirade on her captain's shortcomings, prejudices, and general obnoxious behaviour. She says she had saved up some money from her pitiful wages, and was planning on buying a middle passage and just getting away, but she's decided to stick it out until he retires in a few months. At least it's a steady job, and an easy one at that. But she'd like to see the captain get what's coming to him, just once. If he could have a little accident, or run into some trouble -- nothing crippling, just painful and embarrassing -- perhaps that money she's saved up for the passage could be put to better use...

Diula glances at the Doc for the briefest of instants, just long enough to read her own thoughts reflected in his eyes. "Don't worry, toots," says Diula, "I think karma is about to strike..."

Hear Rumour: In the course of conversation with Tersheen, the PCs pick up a rumour.
information - minor - annoyance (+-0) : Spy / The intellectual
= Imperial authorities are clamping down on information (printed & A/V media) crossing into their border, creating customs delays and very occasional confiscations. She's hear they're looking for coded instructions to enemy agents, but you what what spacer's talk can be like...

back to Options:

The next "Evening", they catch up with captain in the "startown" "bar". [NB. As Fpozz is an asteroid belt, timekeeping is not tied to the rotation of any planetary body. The standard Imperial 24-hour day is used as a matter of convenience, despite the system being outside the borders of the Imperium itself.]

Captain Zinaal
Ret. Merchant Captain  76679B  Age 38  5 Terms  Cr65000
Blade Cbt-1, Electronic-1, Navigation-1, Pilot-1, Steward-1
1xLoPsg, 1xgun, 2xship

[Reaction=10, Responsive
Q: Can Diula get him staggering drunk by picking up the tab? 50/50: 19, Yes.]

Our "heroes" ply their mark with free drink. Diula runs up a cr100 bar tab in no time at all. When the captain is on the verge of passing out, they offer to escort him to his ship. They lead him on a winding route through the habitat corridors, and when they're sure no one else is around, they jump him. He is rendered unconscious in the surprise round of the combat. They then strip him down to his pants and leave him in a service corridor. His clothes are discarded in a public bin on their way home. Diula is disappointed to find that he only had cr20 on him, which she pockets to make up for her evening's expenditures.

No Port Event this week, things continue quietly to the END

Week 2

Diula pays cr640, the Doc cr1000

...nothing of interest happens up until Options.

[Q: Do they collect their payoff? Likely: 90, No.]

They've been making a pretty regular circuit of the habitat bars looking to meet up with their patron to collect their fee for services rendered. After a few days go by without a sighting, the Doc decides to check the port logs. They are dismayed to find that the Helen shipped out 2 days prior!

[As this is day 11, I then rolled the complication die, getting: 6, argument has erupted, use combat rules.

It makes the most sense for this to take place aboard their ship. Quick setup--

each is armed with (1d6): 1-2 blade, 3-4 gun, 5 both, 6 unarmed
they both have guns

Who attacks first? (50/50 for either) = Diula
With a gun (1-2) or fists (3-6)? straight for the gun...]

Later that night, aboard the Hekabe, they get to arguing in the common room about whose fault it was that didn't get paid for their little endeavour. Diula accuses the Doc of just being out to impress the pretty, young solomani girl, whilst he makes the counter-accusation that Diula's been a bit of a liability since she made it her personal crusade to drink the system dry. Things continue in this vein for a regrettably long time, as their screaming imprecations get more and more personal. Then the Doc pushes just a little too far.

[according to the Star Trader relationships, he knows a dark secret about Diula, and she is bitter towards him about a past event. I asked Mythic what it could be about: Vengeance / Failure]

He mentions that he should never have trusted someone as hot-headed and incompetent as she is, and how he knows that poisoning of her former boss at New Dlemmis downport bar was her fault, and if she hadn't been so careless as to pick a chemical that was easily broken down by alcohol, he might not have been able to save the man's life.

And that's when she goes for her gun.

[Round 1
I gave Diula a +3 initiative bonus for drawing first: 3+3 vs 5, she goes first.]

Diula leaps up from the couch to get a clear shot with her body pistol. The Doc, seeing what she's doing, jumps up and draws his revolver. Two shots blare out, almost deafening in the enclosed space. Due to panic, haste, and general lack of skill, neither of them are hit.

[Diula: -3 low dex, +1 skill, +2 close range; rolls 4+0=miss
Doc: -2 low dex, +1 range, rolls 8-1=miss

I just now realised that this fight is a good thing; I can't allow 2 party members with the same initial to go on adventures together.]

[Round 2]
Both of them scramble across the room, taking cover behind furniture. They each fire again, and again the shots go wild.

[Round 3]
Diula's next shot catches the Doc in the stomach [7 damage reduces his STR to 0]. It misses his vital organs, but he passes out from shock.

Diula walks over, and calmly finishes the job.

She puts on a vacc suit, drags the body into an airlock, and pushes it outside as hard as she can. She watches it drift off into the blackness until it disappears from sight. "Right," she thinks, "I've got at least a week to come up with a convincing story."

She decides she'll get rid of most of his things, but keeps his revolver.

[Q: Does she get away with it? Unlikely: 14, Yes.]

Buy/Sell equipment: Diula spends a good deal of money on cleaning supplies...

Encounter: 9 fugitives in a stolen shuttle (CT encounter chart indicated a vehicle)

The fugitives want aboard, and demand passage out of the system. Diula argues over the comm for a few minutes, telling them to check the port arrival & departure records, and then see if they still think this ship is going anywhere.

[Q: Can she convince them her ship is grounded? Likely (it is true, after all): 51, Yes.]

They go away.


Week 3

another cr640

Port event (Star Trader): Warehouse has cargoes available for auction in order to get rid of them - 6 ATVs @ 39000cr base price

Diula bids 19500each (half) just to see what happens. She need to roll 10+ to win the auction; 2d6=4, oh well, no loss.

...Options: looking for cargo

She needs to roll Streetwise 10+ to find a black market supplier: 9+1=success

She finds a "legitimate business person" selling some "military surplus" combat drug: 3t @ 90kcr each.

She buys 2 for cr180000, and has it delivered to the ship to avoid warehousing fees.

her half of the ship fund cr200000
-180000 combat drug
  -2100 docking fees

cr17900 left

Hear Rumour: background - individual - minor- aid (+1)
writer - Attach / A path

She hears a rumour that Icsil Trnottoted, a travel writer whose books are sold throughout the subsector, is on Fpozz looking to book passage on yet another free trader to work on his latest book.

Encounter: 2 adventurers (in bar) - both ex-merchants (1001 Characters merchants #s 38 & 39)
reaction=7, non-committal

Q: Does she learn anything interesting? 50/50: No.

End Travelling alone

Day 98

The Terpsichore comes back into port, with the Captain and Orneev aboard. They contact Diula once the ship has docked, and...

To be continued...


  1. Ack! . . . another cliffhanger . . . grrrr . . . I want to know how she will explain the Doc's absence and if the others twig to what she's done.

    So please give us turn 4 soon, eh?

    -- Jeff

    1. PS,

      I do like your inclusion of the "behind-the-scene" mechanics . . . they will help me when I try running a Star Trader adventure during my chemo fatigue. So please keep including these "examples" in your narratives.

      -- Jeff

    2. I think the blog format actually makes it easier to end on a cliffhanger. Otherwise it can be hard to find a decent stopping point (which is why some of my posts top 3000 words).

      Part 4 is halfway done. Hopefully I will have more time this week for it.

      I'm glad the little mechanics bits are helpful. I am always interested in seeing how other people arrive at the the ins and outs of their adventures, so I am careful to record any little thing that I come up with in case it sparks anyone else's interest.

    3. I have, by the way, copy-pasted all three posts (in order) into a larger document so that I can study it more easily. I hope to add the 4th installment soon.

      -- Jeff

    4. I hope it ends up making sense! I have been remiss in my record-keeping (time & expenditures). I should do it all on paper, otherwise things get overlooked. I almost forgot about the last mortgage payment, for instance. But there's no way Captain Inty would forget; there are days I suspect she can think of nothing else!