Friday, 31 July 2015

Traveller - Star Trader: part 9

With the Hekabe laid up in hospital (as Orneev puts it), her crew have a two week furlough in Uloryy's startown. They all decide to stick together since they don't know anyone here.

[Back to Travelling Alone for their time on Uloryy...

Week 1
Dates: 206 through 213-1106

Upkeep: Diula and Orneev both have SOC 8, so living expenses will be 8x8x10= cr640/week. Inty only has SOC 4, but she's keeping pace with them, so will pay the same. I have been keeping careful track of everyone's money on their character sheets (which is why they needed the cr5000 payouts from the ship's fund), but enumerating all their private expenditures would make for less than thrilling reading.

After Upkeep, the dice lead to Buy Equipment... then Sell Equipment... then Buy Equipment again...]

Startown can get wearing, so they take the light rail into the city proper. Inty suggests they have a wander through some of the indoor shopping complexes; the better ones are climate controlled, and she finds having to wear a breather every time they venture outdoors just a bit trying. They spend hours wandering past market stalls and through emporia. But no one needs any worthless tat, and no one really wants any TL7 devices, and since weapons are mostly prohibited under Law Level 8, it's window shopping only.

[...Event: Receive a message from... (1d6) 1 Auoth, 2 the bank, 3 mercenaries, 4 Heldamin, 5 Port Authority, 6 Imperials

Q: what is the message (via UNE): she's Friendly; the conversation mood is (d%=)67, sociable. Topic: scheming-plan-previous scene
The message arrives on (206+1d6=) 211-1106. This is the day after the firefight in the barn, chronicled in episodes 10 and 11 of the other campaign.]

One night when they get back to their hotel, the concierge informs them that a message has been left for their attention:

"Hey what's up guys? We should meet. Tomorrow at 17:75 (local). Dinner's on me! Address follows. -Heldamin xxoo"

Date: 212-1106

[after Event, the dice lead to Options. Time for dinner:]

Chez Aenvoekhangvuerrgh is a fancy-but-not-too-fancy restaurant specialising in pan-Vargr cuisine. Heldamin has booked a private room in the back. She is waiting there, sitting alone at the table and nursing something red topped with oily-hued foam. She appears not to have slept -- but that's nothing new. The only other person in the room is her bodyguard, a silent mountain of a man who neither speaks nor moves from his station by the door. The wait staff, a mixture of humans and vargr, come and go. Heldamin appears to be on a first-name basis with them all. Her Gvegh is pretty bad, and they all laugh when she asks for the sauce to be served on the floor rather than on the side, but the sommelier insists she's improved since last time. This pleases her to no end.

Heldamin engages her friends in small talk for a while, and launches into another of her stories, this one about the time she first came to Uloryy and had her robot servants in tow. But once the main courses have been brought, she gets down to business.

[Q: Does she know about the marines (episode 12)? Likely: 41, Yes.
She wants the PCs to get her + (1-2 people, 3-4 cargo, 5-6 both) away quietly.
6=both. 1d6= 1 passenger, 1d6x5= 30tonnes cargo]

"So yesterday," says Heldamin, "I got news that there was an incident involving some of the mercenaries. I didn't quite get all of it -- there's some confusion still -- but it seems like some local criminals stole one of their deliveries or tried to lean on them for bribes. It all ended with Imperial marines storming a warehouse on the edge of startown this morning. I just do deals and set stuff up and see that all the interested parties are talking and happy. I don't do fighting and I really really really don't do criminals. So I'm going to conclude my diplomacy here on Uloryy quick and get out before anything stupid happens. Like gang warfare or MOJ investigation or something. So I want to hire your ship. I can pay standard charter rates, and since I know those are rubbish I will offer to handle all the usual fees for docking, life support, fuel, et cetera. It'll be me, and one other, and 30dt of cargo I've got at the downport."

"The Hekabe is in the middle of her annual maintenance," says Inty. "We can't go anywhere for at least a week."

"That's OK," says Heldamin. "Things are going to be hot here for a little while. I'm counting on the drydock to convince the authorities you weren't expecting to have to make any hasty exits. I would like to hurry though, after that. We won't have too much time at each stopover. Though I guess that's partly up to the vagaries of jump travel. But I do need to be somewhere in a reasonable amount of time."

"Where do you need to get to?" asks Orneev.

[Q: Where is she going? 1d6: 1-2 home, 3-4 Dimmul, 5-6 random direction
1d6=5: rolling a random system in the subsector.]

"Chabloha. Ever been? I haven't. I hear it's all very primitive, and that everyone lives in caves underground. It's supposed to be pretty, though."

[It's a potentially dangerous proposition, and sounds not-entirely-legal. Do the PCs agree? A d6 will be rolled for each, with a Yes on: Inty 1-2, Orneev 1-3, Diula 1-5]

"I think we could help," blurts out Diula.

"I was just going to say that," adds Orneev.

"This is the part where I would normally say I need to run it past my crew," says Inty, "but since we're obviously unanimous, welcome aboard! Well, once the ship is fixed."

"A toast then, to our continuing association! And I already told Diula before I left the first time, but I want my same stateroom. It's super comfy... and I think I may have left one of my shoes in it."

[Q: Any complications that night? Unlikely: No.]

The next day everyone is in good spirits. Heldamin sends them a local number to contact her on, and submits the proper charter paperwork electronically. Inty decides to hold a ship's meeting to discuss future plans, as they won't have the Zoan government paying their wages forever. Orneev mentions that if they want to make a habit of carrying passengers, they should probably hire a ship's doctor to keep things above board.

[...end Week 1

Week 2
Dates: 214 through 220-1106

After the Upkeep step, nothing important comes up until Options.]

Diula sends a message to Heldamin to let her know they're going up to the highport to recruit a replacement medic whilst Inty and Orneev draft the notice to put up on the starport help wanted board. By dinner time they are checking in to a suite at one of the highport hotels.

[Q: Does anyone answer their ad in the port e-paper? Likely: 14, Yes.
The best, or probably only, respondant is:]

Bval Tus
Human Male
Merchant 4th Officer  56674A  Age 26  2 Terms  Cr 30,000
Dagger-1, Carbine-1, Medical-1
Homeworld: Mzarz (A221775-B Na Po)
Personality: Orderly, Unsympathetic

They get one response to the advert, and set up a lunch meeting for 216-1106 in a spacers' canteen. The man they meet, Bval Tus by name, is young, clean cut, businesslike, and well-mannered. He tells them that he grew up in a domed city on Mzarz, a child of very well-to-do bureaucrats [SOC A] who hoped he and his sisters would all follow in their footsteps. But he never cared much for school -- and didn't do so well, as he readily admits [EDU 4] -- and dreamt of a more interesting life. When he turned 18 he ran away and signed up for a life in the merchant marine, seduced by all the promises of adventure and excitement in the holovid ads. But after 2 stultifying terms as a junior medic aboard a 2000t Tukera Lines bulk freighter, he decided that being a megacorporation employee was unlikely to ever be anything like the ads would have you believe. So when his 2nd term was finished, he did not renew his contract, and went looking for a place aboard a free trader. His references are impeccable, if undistinguished. He diplomatically excuses himself to the use the toilet, and when he returns they offer him the job, which he happily accepts.

Inty explains the ship is in drydock for a few days yet, but that they have a charter all ready lined up, and will be leaving at the first opportunity. She also says she'll pay his salary on the ship's mortgage date to keep her bookkeeping simple, so he'll get his first month's pay on 235-1106, after just two weeks aboard. He can consider this as a signing bonus.

He's got nothing better to do, so he spends the rest of the day with his new shipmates to get better acquainted. [...Buy/sell equipment] Diula excitedly explains their project to kit out the ship's locker. Bval says he knows a place in the port they can purchase weapons legally, and have them delivered to their ship.

In the end they buy a pair of shotguns, a pair of carbines, and ammo for everything: 5 magazines for each gun, including Diula's pistols. They also buy a pair of medkits since the doc took his when he left. They decide to wait on the communicators. Anything they would want would be higher than Uloryy's tech level, and whilst they could find some nice commos in the highport, they would be overpriced.

cr443,446 ship's fund
   -3,025 stocking ship's locker
cr440,421 new ship's fund

[...The dice then lead to the End of the Travelling Alone sequence. But according to the other campaign timeline, the secret mercenary training camp is captured by Imperial forces on 216-1106. So...

Q: Does anything happen as a result of the mercenaries' capture? 50/50: 36, Yes.
Q: What? Ambush/Expectations: Heldamin shows up early.
Q: Have the PCs heard about the incident? Likely: 90, No.
Q: Why not? (1d6) 1-3 ignorance, 4-6 was kept out of the press: 4 = no news]

Date: 217-1106

After dropping Bval off at his hostel (he's paid up there for the week), the rest of the Hekabe's crew return to their hotel. And who should they espy in the hotel lounge but Heldamin. Not that anyone could miss her, attired as she is in another of her voluminous shimmering robes, but she hadn't even sent them a message to say she was coming up the gravity well.

She looks the same as she ever does, with the dark circles under her eyes and a drink the size of her head. Before her on the table is a plate of something that's been fried past the point of holding any nutritional value, which she is sharing with a man who looks about Inty's age. He is wearing a rather ridiculous-looking souvenir t-shirt with "Everything's nicer on Anandanang" emblazoned across the front. His burly arms are fully covered in tattoos, including a prominent Imperial marines unit insignia.

Caidro Reh-Olnoka
human male
ex-Marine Captain  A569B8  Age 40  5 terms
admin-2, cutlass-1, brawl-1, tactics-1, ACR-2, SMG-2
Personality: Panicky, Faded

"Oh hi, guys!" exclaims Heldamin, brightening when she notices them coming towards her. "Pull up some chairs, grab a waiter; I've got a tab going. Inty, Diula, Orneev, meet my friend Caidro. He'll be travelling with us to help look after the cargo. They have a great ship, you'll like it. Sooooo much better than that tug we flew out of New Dlemmis that one time. And not just 'cause it doesn't have a hold full of unn... unt.. uffy... whatever those things are called. It should be an Imperial Crime to have paying passengers on a ship carrying livestock. I thought I'd never get that smell out of my things. So how's you guy's doctor hunt going? Bagged one yet? I hope you find one that's better than..."

[Untefyi are 500kg herd animals raised on New Dlemmis for food, though they are not native to the world.

Heldamin needs to make a 9+ carousing roll to conceal the fact that things are going very poorly for her associates, and that Imperial agents may or may not be looking for her: 12+2, an outstanding success]

Heldamin continues to babble excitedly and keep everyone generally amused until well past their bedtimes. The crew of the Hekabe are happy that she's come early, as it will provide a welcome distraction for the last few days before they get their ship back.

[Q: Any problems before departure? Somewhat Likely: 80, No.

Next post will resume captain's log entries.]

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Traveller - Star Trader: part 8

Date: 204-1106

Diula and Orneev have an entire day to kill before their meeting with the potential buyer. They wander the streets of startown aimlessly, looking for a diversion. They'd hoped to find a casino or betting parlour [both have Gambling-1], but these do not seem legal on Uloryy, and they have no luck in finding a backroom game going on [Diula failed a streetwise roll]. They do a lot of window shopping, try local restaurants, see a second-run movie... anything to kill time. At one point they witness a traffic accident [day encounter: wreck], but they decide not to hang around; they don't want to come to the attention of the police for any reason.

Finally the sun goes down and the streetlights come on. The time for their meeting is at hand. They make their way to the address printed on the plastic business card they had been given, which turns out to be a dismal tavern frequented by port labourers. They find a table, order a round, and wait.

[Their guy is (1d6): 1-2 early, 3-4 on time, 5-6 late.
6=late; 1d3 = 2 hours, resulting in 2 encounter checks.]

...and wait...

...and wait...

At one point, a [1-3 M, 4-6 F] rentboy approaches [1-2 O, 3-4 D, 5-6 both] Orneev and asks if he's looking for some trade. Orneev politely declines. [I rolled the die on the table in Startown Liberty to see what, if anything, might have come of this encounter. Turns out the prostitute was a lure for some thugs. Great are the rewards of Constancy.]

Diula and Orneev spend another uncomfortable hour of waiting and watching the crowd. They see a man in civilian coveralls, but with close-cropped hair and an obvious military bearing enter. He looks down at his handcomp, then scans the room, and abruptly walks over and sits at their table.

[rolling on CT patron list 1
first die: -1 since Orneev is a Merchant
second die: -1 since Diula counts as Other

51=mercenary; I see where this is leading...

and his reaction roll is 11!]

"You're from the Hekabe, I take it? I'm Ornakka Hofuylu, but you can call me Nakko -- everybody does-- formerly of the 3208th Mechanised Infantry Division. I'm a private contractor now. Me and my buddies are training up for some action in subsector N -- I prolly shouldn't say where, y' understand -- and a friend of mine says you got a little something that might swing the balance."

"We have," says Orneev.

"In bulk," adds Diula.

"Well, now," replies Nakko, "that's a challenge but not a big one. It's a right pain getting things cross that extraterritoriality fence, but we really need to field test the stuff before we ship out. Luckily, I know a guy at the port who can get things through without all the hassle. What you got to do is land at the downport early tomorrow, and rent a ground truck from Spuldon's Hire Centre, then drive the stuff out at 15:00 local time, through gate 26-F; the customs guys will have been bribed to wave you through. Use my name if they don't recognise you at first, or if you're a little late. Then drive the stuff out to deliver to these co-ordinates."

Nakko passes a plastic card over to Diula, which she pockets.

"We should talk price," says Orneev, but the negotiations are not what he is used to. Diula soon takes over; this is most certainly her department.

[to sell the illegal cargo, Orneev's broker skill is useless, but Diula's streetwise-1 gives a +1DM: 8+1=120%]

Nakko agrees to pay cr240,000 for the lot. He and Diula shake on it. Orneev orders a round to celebrate the deal. When they finish, Nakko says he has things to see to, and Orneev and Diula are anxious to get back to the hostel so they can call the ship.

As he about to leave, the mercenary pauses. "Think of this as your introduction," he says. "If this goes off smoothly, we may have need of an outbound trip in the future. Passengers and freight."

"Just so you know," says Orneev, "the Hekabe's going to be out of action for two weeks: annual maintenance time."

"We'd need you in four."

"I have to ask the Captain, of course. But I'm sure she'll say yes to more business."

"We'll talk more at the drop site. Ciao!"

When Orneev goes to the bar to settle up, he finds that Nakko has paid their tab.

Date: 205-1106

Inty lands in the early morning as Diula and Orneev rent a ground truck. They get the cargo loaded onto the truck almost immediately, then Inty and Orneev disappear for some alone time, leaving Diula alone in the Hekabe's common area. She is eventually joined by Heldamin, looking a bit worse for wear after her three day bender in the highport.

"Can I ask you a question?" groans Heldamin.

"Ask away," says Diula as she turns on the coffee maker.

"You guys do that spacer thing where you dim the lights before a jump, don't you?"

"Yeah. How come?"

"Could we pretend we're about to go into jump now? The light in here is making my head throb."

Diula laughs, and turns the lights down as she hands the small, and --today-- fragile-seeming girl a plastic cup.

"Drink this. It'll sort you out. And then you need to get packed. We're due to leave through the extrality barrier in a little less than two standard hours. We've been told to be punctual, so we meet the right customs inspectors. You understand"

"Oh, ok. Great. Can you drop me in town? Near the light rail terminus?"

"Yeah, sure. But... let me ask you something. We heard there was a ship in system that has been evading Imperial patrols, and our special freight has just been purchased by some mercs who are training here in secret for some mission in subsector N. You came to us from a ship that was behaving a little weird, and Zoe is right on the border of N... you're not, say, mixed up in all of this, are you?"

"Um, well, yes. But my business is in town. Look, I'm sure we'll meet again. We might need to hire your ship."

"So we've been told."

"I know it's all secret and stuff, but don't worry. We aren't doing anything really illegal. It just needs to be secret. And there's no need to get Imperial authorities involved. But you guys are really nice and I like your ship and since we'll need to pay for transport, I just want the money going to someone I like. So when we do hire your ship to get us offworld, I hope you'll let me have my same stateroom. It's really comfortable."

[Q: Any complications with the delivery? Unlikely: No.
No random encounters, either.]

Before long Orneev and Inty emerge, and start making the final preparations for their trip. Dame Heldamin goes to collect her things. They drive the truck to gate 26-F at 15:00 local time, and the customs officers wave them right on through. They let Heldamin off at the station, and then head out of town.

Outside the city, the terrain of Uloryy is a bit uninspiring. Endless fields of purple chulnin-reed stretch off to the horizon, where they finally blend into the distant hills. The orange sky is mostly clear overhead, though there seems to be a storm front moving in from the east. Diula fiddles endlessly with the radio in the truck's cab, Orneev dozes off with his head against the window. Inty rather enjoys the drive.

After a few hours they turn off the main road onto an unpaved dirt track. They proceed down the bumpy track for a few kilometres and then turn again onto a gated drive. Their destination is a small farmhouse, complete with tractor out front, and lazy old farm-mzu napping on the front porch, lazily twirling its hindmost antennae. Parked next to the tractor is a tracked heavy cargo hauler.

Inty stops the truck, and she and her companions don breathers before stepping out of the environmentally-sealed cab. The front door of the farmhouse is already opening, and Nakko is standing in the doorway, holding his breather over his mouth and waving to them to come inside.

After a few moments in the decon-airlock, the green "atmo-clear" light comes on and the inner door opens. Inty is glad to be rid of her breath mask so quickly. She's not from a planet with a tainted atmosphere like Diula, nor a toxic hellhole like Orneev.

[reaction=7, non-committal (so, very businesslike)
Q: Do the mercs want anything else? 50/50: 03, Exceptional yes.
Q: What: Move / Leadership]

In the living room are three more soldiers, who Nakko introduces as Captain Headlie and Privates Izzoi and Mugut. There is also an older man in casual civilian attire, whom he introduces as Brigadier Chiang.

"Nice to see you all," says Nakko, "I'm sorry we can't make an afternoon of it, but we've got work to do. We're really happy you guys showed up with this stuff. It's gonna be a real help, but, well, we're kind of on a tight schedule as it is. So today we have to load and run. Here's the money we promised. I s'pose I out to be giving it to you, ma'am, seeing as you're the captain and all. I was wondering though... Brigadier Chiang needs to get up to the highport. Would you mind taking him up with you? We'll slide an extra 10k your way -- call it a short High Passage!"

[Brigadier Chiang was a random selection from 1001 characters: army general, 7 terms. The dice made him a male solomani.
Q: Is he from Dimmul? 50/50: No.
thus, he's the mercenary brigade leader
Q: why is he travelling? Inspect / Bureaucracy: co-ordination with other mercenaries, possibly offworld. I'm leaving it vague unless he reappears.]

Inty is bemused by the mercenaries' generosity, but Nakko starts asking about what their plans are and if they intend to be back on Uloryy in 28 days or so, as they will have some freight they'll need to move, and would prefer to go with a crew they've already met.

Inty says she intends to make a short trading voyage to Oothoom or maybe Veegint, but that they would certainly be interested in doing business when they get back.

Soon the travellers are driving back to the downport, feeling pleased after a good day's business, even if their newest passenger is considerably less fun than Heldamin.

Date: 206-1106

The next day the Hekabe flies up to the shipyard and goes into "drydock" for her much-needed repairs and annual maintenance. Once they're satisfied she's in good hands, the crew head back to the surface. Brigadier Chiang says a stiff, formal goodbye and takes a shuttle to the highport.

Inty makes a very brief entry in the ship's log to note the maintenance date, and do a little accounting.

Cr10,274,971 ship's fund

   +240,000 sold rare spices
    +10,000 passenger
-10,000,000 repairs to jump drive
    -66,175 annual maintenance (3 weeks early, but probably wise)
       -350 rental ground truck
    -15,000 "dividends" (kcr5 each for pocket money)

  cr443,446 new ship's fund

[Rare spices is, of course, Inty's obfuscation for Combat Drug. The "dividends" are above board. Since none of them are drawing an actual salary, and their cash-in-hand is all dwindling, they each needed some funds to get by on. Inty gave Diula an equal payout to keep her sweet. She's been a team player for the last little bit, and things are definitely looking up in general. Diula's even accidentally hooked them up with more business.]

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Traveller - Star Trader: part 7

[I had always left the possibility open that my Star Trader adventures would cross over with my other solo Traveller campaign. The random ship encounter below (400t fat trader - comms out, radio silence), when interpreted via Mythic (Q: What's the deal with the ship?: Dominate / War), was obviously the mysterious, unidentified ship mentioned back in Episode 7 of the other game.

To synchronise the calendars, I decided the Hekabe would arrive within two weeks (3d6-3 days) either way of the Galatea: 1-3 before, 4-5 after. The dice say... 8 days prior. This worked out pretty well, as the date is simply the day of the ST adventure +55; easy maths if I need to work out when anything happened in the past for any reason.

Now let us resume the adventure in jumpspace aboard the Hekabe...]

Date: 198-1106

[die = 6. Diula falls for the ruse completely, and puts both guns inside.]

Well, that was easy! Diula thought it was a great idea. Put her pistol in, plus an old revolver neither of us even knew she had. Said I should add decent commos to the list, so we can all keep in touch when we're dirtside. Maybe she's not the psychopath we thought.

Date: 200-1106

arrive at Uloryy/Foreven (3033 A877758-7 Ag)

We were quite a few hours out from the mainworld when we popped back into normal space. There was a ship on our sensors almost immediately, a 400t subsidised merchant. I hailed them, but there was no response, not even an automatic message to show the message was received.
I tried a few times, but got nothing.

I wasn't sure if we should be getting involved in whatever problems they might be having,
but I thought I best put it to my crew.

[rolling a d6 for each: Orneev says yes on 1-3; Diula, being less civic-minded, on 1-2]

They both thought it was our duty to help fellow spacers in distress, and who am I to argue if they both feel strongly about something. And in complete agreement, for once!

We plotted an intercept course, and kept hailing them the whole way. No replies. Finally I told them that we were coming aboard to help.

[Q: When approached and hailed, does the ship run? Likely: 88, No + Event: Introduce a new NPC]

That finally got a response. "Oh! uh, sorry, we were having a ship's meeting. We are just going to go refuel at the gas giant, and can't put into port after all. But we have one passenger bound for Uloryy. Can you take her on? We'll give you half the cost of her ticket."

Well, we were kind of relieved to tell the truth. We don't have a medic if there was anybody hurt, and we only have two little guns if there was hijackers or something. Once we get the ship fixed, we definitely need to put in a laser turret, come to think of it. And fill that ships' locker!

So we took on the passenger. They told us over the comm to be respectful, as we would be transporting a member of one of the technocratic families from Zoe, Dame Ngiff. We were a bit trepidatious then, but it turned out fine.

She was a tiny little thing, long blonde hair past her waist and looking all of 14 years old, though she was probably about twice that. She was wearing robes of some synthetic fabric that did amazing things with the light when it moved, and the comm on her wrist looked like it cost more than the Hekabe! It was certainly more sophisticated. I guess what they say about Zoe is true.

But the dame turned out to be really laid back, she insisted we call her by her first name -- didn't even mind that Diula kept pronouncing Zoe as Zoey. And she was great fun. She cracked open a bottle of something expensive from Aslan space to share with us all. And when it was finished she got about a second, and then a third. She kept us up way too late telling all sorts of crazy stories, mostly about living with so many robots, and all the messed up places she gets sent as an government/family envoy.

[random NPC was chosen as usual: 1-3 1001 Characters, 4-6 Citizens of the Imperium
5=Citizens, so 1d12=Diplomat, 1d40=#6]

Dame Heldamin Ngiff
second secretary, age 26, human f
carousing-2, gauss pistol-1, vacc-1
cr50,000, gauss pistol
personality: indolent, funny

[Random conversation topic (UNE): mysterious-misdirection-equipment; the rest of the PCs conversation with their sudden passenger is off-the-record:

"So," says Heldamin, as she opens another bottle of expensive Aslan liquor, "I'm on a rather...important mission, and I need to get my pistol through the extrality barrier. I'm worried the enemies of my government will be looking for me. I don't suppose you guys have any way of bypassing Imperial customs...?"

[Carousing -- I decided that a roll in excess of the PCs' INT scores would be needed to avoid this sounding really suspicious.  roll: 10+2=12, which is higher than everyone's INT, so they believe her without question]

"I know it's kinda weird to ask," she continues, "but I can pay, of course."

"Actually," says Diula, "we have stuff we need to get through the extrality barrier, too."

The others nod in agreement.]

Date: 201-1106

Put in to the highport ok. Probably shouldn't have tried it in that state, but we didn't crash so who's counting. Orneev left early to go sell the cargo. He came back late with dinner and good news.

[38t polymers: 7+3=130% (Kcr7 x 38 x 1.3=) cr345,800
6t gems: 9+3=170% (Mcr1 x 6 x 1.7=) cr10,200,000]

cr537,303 ship's fund

      +5,000 fare
    +345,800 sold polymers
 +10,200,000 sold gems
        -100 berthing 7 days
    -275,729 mortgage (due 205-1106; early for once)

Cr10,274,971 new ship's fund

The mortgage is next due on 235-1106
The annual maintenance is due on 226-1106 [takes 2 weeks, costs .1% of ship cost: cr66,175]

We're looking ok, but we're going to probably be here three weeks with no revenue. I guess we have to wait on the laser turret.

Date: 202-1106

Unloading at the highport. I get to stay with the ship to look after things whilst Orneev and Diula head to the downport to work on other business matters, including helping our our new friend. She's elected to wait with me in the ship until they get it figured out, as even the Starport here, she says, is a bit archaic for her tastes.

--- --- --- ---

[The rest of this post is certainly not going to be in the ship's log, so it will go back to 3rd person narration. Gamey bits will still be in brackets.]

The Uloryy downport's extrality barrier can be rather intimidating on first glance, especially when one is contemplating how to smuggle contraband through it. The barrier is an actual wall, 5m high and made of plasteel-reinforced duracrete, and topped with electrified razorwire. Guard towers flank each gate and are placed between the gates at 200m intervals. The Imperium takes the security of its most productive ag-world in the subsector very seriously.

For their trip out into startown, however, Orneev and Diula hardly get anywhere near the barrier. They go through customs (with its TL15 scanners) inside the downport, and board a light rail train which takes them on the short jaunt to the startown station. When they leave the station, they can almost feel the tech level drop when they step out in to the street, with its internal-combustion ground vehicles and overhead power lines.

Uloryy has a dusty orange sky, and the populace must go about in breath masks to survive in the carcinogenic atmosphere. Unlike on Diula's native Veegint, people here tend to wear breathers with full-face masks, and the building airlocks are much more extensive, if less sophisticated. But one startown is much like another, and the pair or travellers has soon located a cheap 2-bedroom suite in a local hostel to use as a base of operations.

They decide to have a wander through the streets; Diula will look for a likely contact, Orneev will handle the eventual negotiations. Though there is little chance of a meeting in broad daylight: perhaps they shall just take in the sights.

[I used the old Gamelords Startown Liberty supplement for encounters et al. The first day encounter was a group of tourists asking for directions. I will spare you a detailed description. Rather than keep detailed tack of their spending, I will just use the Travelling Alone SOCxSOCx10 per week, which works out to cr90/day each. Captain Inty will be bumming around the highport with Dame Heldamin, so won't need to worry about money unless things on the ground drag on too long.

Just to see what happens, I used the drinking rules in Startown Liberty on the theory that a couple PCs who've had too much to drink would make the random encounters more interesting. Neither of them ever exceeded their capacity, so I'm not going to bother with the mechanics of this, save to remark that as written the average human (STR & END of 7, 'drinking capacity of 14) would need to consume a minimum of 5 beers (mild intoxicant, 1d6-3) to even start to feel the effects of the alcohol. Apparently they only serve American beer in space!]

That evening they find a none-too-reputable looking tavern, called simply Kindirusgi's. They have a range of local beers on tap, though after a few rounds it becomes apparent that they all must be watered down. But they aren't really here to drink.

[One encounter check per hour... thrice nothing.

To find a likely contact, Diula get to roll once per evening. She needs 9+, DM+streetwise. She fails the first night.

No nighttime encounter on the way home, either.]

After a boring evening out, they head back to the hostel in defeat. Diula goes into her room sullenly, Orneev makes a call back up to the Hekabe. He tells Inty all about their day, and she is quietly relieved that the two of them are still on speaking terms. She's having a lovely time, she insists, with Heldamin, but for her liver's sake she hopes the two of them find something quick.

date: 203-1106

The next day is much like the first. Nothing happens all morning [no encounter], but they hear an interesting rumour when they go for lunch in a divey eatery. Some spacers at the table next to them are loudly speculating about an unidentified ship in the system which has been evading Imperial patrol craft. "I bet it's Zhodani spies!" says one. "Don't be daft," says another, "it is most assuredly those smugglers we met at Yk. You know -- the ones who were so interested in how we was going to Uloryy." "You're both wrong," says the vargr. "It's corsairs. It's got to be corsairs."

[rumour: miscellaneous-warning-ruin (-4)
Mythic: Stop / Danger =  an unidentified ship has been sighted in the system, and is evading imperial patrol craft

Q: Does either PC put 2 and 2 together? Unlikely: 32, Yes. 50% chance for either as both have 7 INT]

Once the spacers have left, Diula looks at Orneev conspiratorially. "You know," she says, "I got a feeling that all three of them were wrong. And that we picked up our passenger from that unidentified ship..."

The rest of the day and evening go pretty much the same as the last. Orneev and Diula install themselves in yet another dismal startown tavern, with nothing much to do but distractedly watch the gravball match playing on the screens.

[No encounters again, but Diula makes her 9+ roll on streetwise]

Diula excuses herself for a few moments, and Orneev is too engrossed in his beermat construction works to notice that she is away for quite some time. When she returns, she's smiling wickedly. "So I ran into this broad wearing a Belnn City Bruisers shirt and we got talking about things -- never have run into supporters this far from Veegint, especially after last season -- but, long story short, she says she knows a guy who can help us." She throws a plastic card on the table, and continues. "There's the address. She set us up a meeting for [1d3 days=] tomorrow."

Orneev looks pleased. "Well done," he says, "I never had you as a gravball fan. And what's a 'broad'?"

They retire early back to their hostel. They still aren't sure what to make of their mysterious passenger, but they are happy to have a "business" lead. Orneev calls the ship, but he is very circumspect over the open channel. Inty is pleased to hear that they may soon be able to move their freight.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Library Data

Name           Hex UPP       Bases Trade codes   T  PBG Allegiance
----           --- ---       ----- -----------   -  --- ----------
Estoner       2532 E338569-6       Ni               820 Zo
Piemal        2533 B792369-9  J    Lo Ni            624 Zo
Zoe           2534 BAAA257-E  J    Fl Lo Ni Wa      301 Zo

Zoe (pronounced Zō, unlike the ancient Solomani name of which it is a homograph) is a large world completely covered in an ammonia sea. When it was first charted by the IISS in 703, the world was completely uninhabited. A small group of Dwyers-Mander-Tellbright Megacorp scientists arrived in 804 to 'colonise' the world -- at that time still known as DMT2534 -- on behalf of the corporation and assess its suitability for commercial exploitation. The colonial administration for this system and the two neighbouring systems, DMT2532 (Estoner) and DMT2533 (Piemal) was situated here.

When the company went bankrupt in 843, the scientists declared themselves rulers and citizens of Zoe, naming the world after the head scientist's much-beloved pet rezibb. They claimed the former corporate colonies of Piemal and Estoner as territory of their fledgling state.

Life was never easy on any of the worlds, but the exotic environment made conditions the most cramped and difficult on Zoe. Colonists were regularly shipped off to the other two worlds, and wherever possible replaced with robots to perform their tasks. Today the Zoan technocrats live in undersea family enclaves, surrounded by robotic servants of all descriptions. It is estimated that there are approximately 20 robots for every human. The few factories on Zoe are completely roboticised, and produce mostly computers, sophisticated scanning equipment, and other robots.

Estoner is the agricultural centre of the Zoan state, whilst most of their other manufactured goods are produced on Piemal. Despite their lower technological production capacities, TL C, D, and E equipment is common on both Piemal and Estoner, though it will only be for local use, and never for sale. Very specific arrangements will exist for the maintenance of this equipment. Travellers will find that the local TL of these worlds will represent the best facilities available to them, unless they are contracted for work by the Zoan government itself. Robots are also a common sight on both worlds, though in much fewer numbers than on Zoe.

As Estoner and Piemal never had separate governing bodies, the inhabitants of those worlds do not see themselves as separate nor as subject populations. They are all Zoans, regardless of residence.

Zoans speak a highly idiosyncratic dialect of Galanglic, which is almost completely unintelligible to other Galanglic speakers, though Zoans have no difficulty understanding them. All but the most uneducated Zoans can speak standard Galanglic when the need arises.

Name           Hex UPP       Bases Trade codes   T  PBG
----           --- ---       ----- -----------   -  ---
  Tellbright  2834 B332211-B  JM   Lo Ni Po         300

In 789, the Dwyers-Mander-Tellbright LIC megacorporation announced that they were relocating their central offices from Mingiz to one of the small worlds 'colonised' by their corporate scouts, DMT2834, hereafter re-named Dwyers-Mander-Tellbright in honour of the corporation. Thousands of company personnel from around the subsector relocated to the world, and ambitious building projects were begun, including a class A starport and Imperial naval base (the Company wished to retain its Limited Imperial Charter). At its height, the system was rated with a UPP of A332413-E.

The decline started in the 820s, and by the time the company collapsed in 843, most of the arcology had been rendered uninhabitable due to lack of maintenance. The planet lay barren for almost two centuries, until in 1029 teams from ZVO (Zavrhin Vehl Olosuil - Olos Development Concern) resettled in a bid to capitalise on newly-discovered rare-earth mineral deposits. The naval base in the system is primarily used as a supply depot for ZVO's operation. There is a military base located on a minor world in the system, which is leased from the corporation by The Gengo Lasers, a respected mercenary company.

There are persistent rumours that ZVO's interest in the planet is actually due to their discovery of an Ancients site, but there is no evidence of this being anything other that idle spacers' tales and wild speculation.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Traveller - Star Trader: part 6

[meanwhile, back on Fpozz...]

Day 110

I'm not going to worry and instead I will try to focus on lining up a cargo to move when Orneev gets back. Diula said she'll show me how she kept sane when we were away. But I think it was just hitting the habitat bars in numerical order.

[Week 1 of Travelling Alone starts with Upkeep
Inty has Soc 4, so pays 4x4x10= cr160
Diula has Soc 8, so must spend another cr640]

Day 111 [Buy Equipment]

Diula said she wanted to take me shopping in habitat 027. Foolishly I agreed, thinking she would lead me to a bazaar or food market. Instead she bought surplus ammunition off a guy I'm sure was squatting in a disused office [Diula bought 3 clips for her body pistol @ cr20each].

I guess she's just paranoid about the stuff in the hold, and I don't really feel like getting into it with her. But I did make her agree that next time I get to choose the outing. That was a long shuttle ride out there, and it kinda put a damper on the rest of the day.

[Event: Planetary event - using Mythic to determine the nature: Extravagance / Energy (1d6=3days: 112-115) ]

Day 115

Well that was some excitement I didn't need. A brownout in the docking habitat had everyone scrambling for fuel and life support refreshes so we could live in our ships. For two whole days couldn't even go into the habitat without a vacc suit on. Had to splash out cr4000 for emergency life support supplies just to keep ship habitable and 40t fuel for the power plant. I thought of just skimming from the gas giant but I think our power would've run out mid-trip. As compensation for everyone's inconvenience, the port authority waived all berthing fees for the three days. Like that cr300 was going to make a difference.

[Options: cargo search]

Didn't find any good cargos this week either. Probably not surprising, seeing how everything else went.

Day 116

There's no real law enforcement around here [Law Level = 0], so I'm starting to wonder if murder is technically allowed. Diula was in fine form today and nearly started a brawl in the "spacers' lounge" at Habitat 17-b.

[Encounter: religious group - Hrknrr Machine Cultists
# encountered: 2D=7
special rule: the cult is insular, but also pacifistic; thus, when rolling for reactions, all 1s on the dice are counted as 2s, but all 6s become 5s. When meeting people with cybernetic enhancements, there will be a ±2 reaction modifier depending on how mechanical it appears.
Reaction roll=5, hostile, may attack]

There was this group of machine cultists that came in the lounge. I've heard of them, everybody has, but I never saw any in person before today. They were weirder and creepier looking than I expected. Metal teeth, metal on their arms and hands, metal hair... hard not to stare at them, but they just go all sullen and stare back. I was surprised to see them in the lounge, I thought that liquor was against their religion and all. I said this to Diula, and now I wish I hadn't. Seems that she used to see them all the time back when she worked for Veegint port authority. I was a bit surprised at this because my captainly memory of the star charts tells me that Veegint doesn't have any planetoid belts, so it shouldn't have any belters. Oh, no, she says, they got 'em, and plenty. They do all kinds of zero-g construction, and some even go prospecting in the Oort clouds. Apparently a whole family of about 100 machine cultists were hired by the port to build additions to the highport, and they were always getting in fights with the other workers and there were strikes because no one wanted to work with them and all sorts of stuff. I sort of tuned her out after a while. The woman can't tell a story without a drink in her hand, and this one got pretty long, and I wasn't paying attention to how much she was putting away (it was her tab). Eventually she had to go visit the little spacer's room, so she had to walk by the back corner where all the cultists were sitting, and minding their own business. But on her way back she stumbled into one of them, and got mad for him sitting in her way, and she started yelling and then they started yelling and it was all I could do to drag her out of there before someone got hit! or shot...

Back in the ship now. She's passed out and snoring with her door open. I still can't sleep, and I've been putting off doing the accounting. Might as well get it done...

cr148382 ship's fund

    -400 berthing
   -4000 life support
   -4000 Power plant fuel (unrefined)

cr139982 new ship's fund

I guess it could be worse.

[End week 1

Week 2:  days 117-122

This week ended up being really dull, so there were no captain's log entries.

Upkeep: Inty cr160, Diula cr640

...Options: cargo search, with nothing available...

Port event (ST): Bunch of asteroid miners in port causing trouble all week for port officials and other travellers. Other belters share Diula's hatred of the cult. There were sporadic fights, and one of the habitats suffered decompression when shots were fired (2d6-2=5 injured, 1d6-1= no deaths). Some passing mercenaries stepped in to end the disturbances for the public good, and the cultists retreated back out to the uninhabited reaches of the asteroid belt. Mythic was uninterested in having the PCs present for any of this.


It was crap week: -700cr berthing fees leaves cr139282 ship's fund

Week 3: days 123-130

Upkeep: Inty cr160, Diula cr640

Event: Opportunity to buy exotic item
I took this as an opportunity to try out the Small Cargos & Special Handling article in JTAS#18.]

Day 125

"C'mon," said Diula, "Lets go to the bazaar." "Why?" I asked. "Cause this place is deader than a durneel and if we don't do something we'll go starkers!" I asked what a durneel was, and she said she wasn't sure, it was just an old solomani expression.

But that woman must have the gift of prophecy or something. Amongst all the tat and stuff that Diula insists must of "fell off Uloryy" (can't be another of her solomani expressions? can it?), we found a guy selling 6 crates of blue valonaise wine for well under what they must be worth. We bought all 6 out of the ships fund, @ cr45each. Even if it isn't going to net us much of a return, I figure we can always drink the stuff!

[...Options: find cargo]

Day 127

There was actually a cargo lot that came up this week. 6t of gems @ 1Mcr each...

If I had 6 million credits in my account... well, I still couldn't fix the ship, but things would be a lot less desperate, that's for sure!

Orneev should be back soon. I wonder if he's doing any better than we are.

Day 130

Orneev's back, but he's being a bit cagey about his trip to Pa'trix. Diula says they must have tortured him for information about our business, she's heard they do that there. I told her not to believe everything she reads in the sensationalist press. Still, he's being weird.

[Orneev told them they were in the black, but he wanted to sell off the speculative cargo before getting them too excited about the earnings, just in case.

selling the electronic parts: roll 10+3= 200% (25t x 200000 = Mcr5)
selling the armour: roll 6+3= 120% (8t x 60000 = Kcr480)]

Day 131

"I brought you something" said Orneev, "I hope you'll like it!"

It was a folder full of all his receipts -- like a literal one, in hardcopy. It seems they're really particular on Pa'trix. I wasn't sure what to make of it, and then he says, "for your accounting. I know how you like to keep the numbers up to date. Did I do good, Captain?" "Gee," I said, "you really do know the way to a girl's heart!"

But when I looked inside I didn't know whether to laugh or cry or jump his bones right there in the airlock.

One more run like that and we can fix the ship!

 +2800000 sell silver
     -640 room & board
 -1000000 buy elec parts
  -200000 buy body armour
   -10000 passage to Fpozz
   -33000 33t cargo space

 +5000000 sell elec
  +480000 sell body armour
cr7036360 Orneev's total

Later: We had a crew meeting to discuss our next move in light of our sudden change of fortune. Diula's first reaction when we told her was to say that she was surprised he came back. I was afraid she was going to ask for her share right then and there and leave us on the next ship out. Instead, she said that maybe we should see if those gems are still on offer.

[Q: Are the Gems still available? 50/50: 20, Yes.]

Turns out they were, so we bought them up. And whist we were waiting for the transactions to all go through and the delivery time to be posted, we came up with a plan.

Even if we had Mcr10, we can't fix the ship at Fpozz. I think the repair facilities are a screwdriver tied to the wall by a cord with a sign above it saying "please do not steal" [Class D starport]. Diula thinks she can rig the jump drives for one more trip without doing undue harm to them. Whilst she's working on that, I'm going to go out in search of more cargo to fill the hold, we'll have 38t empty once the gems are delivered. We're not going to take on any passengers this trip, just in case the drives don't like being forced to make another trip. Besides, we'd get in trouble for flying into Imperial space without a medic, and I don't like our chances for recruiting one here.

cr139282 ship's fund

+7036360 Orneev's total
    -700 berthing
-6000000 gems
 -275729 mortgage (late again...)

cr759231 new ship's fund

[... End of Travelling Alone

Now that everyone had reassembled, it was time to roll Diula's 1d6 from the end of Part 3 to see what happens. It will occur on (131+1d6=) day 136.

Day 133
cargo search failed (Star Trader mods for class D starports are not good for speculation)
Diula needs to roll 10+ to jury-rig the drives, with a +1 DM for her engineering skill. She can roll once per day. She didn't manage the first two days...

Day 135
cargo search fails again.
Diula gets the jump drives back on line, but only just.

Day 136
Diula's die = 4: Orneev suspects her and confronts her about it.
(1-3 she calls his bluff as there's no evidence. 4-6 there's another murder attempt...)

Whilst Inty is out looking for cargo, Orneev and Diula are sitting in the common area of the ship. He starts asking pointed questions about the doc leaving the ship, and she realises where the line of questioning is headed.

"Look," she says, "You don't like me: fine. You don't have to. We're business partners, not like you and captain kissy-face. The doc wasn't happy here, so he left. No warning, no note, no goodbyes, just cleaned out his cabin and left. People do it all the time.  Space is pretty fucking vast, and honestly, unless they make the news, once someone's gone you'll probably never hear their name again. Now, you think on that, before you start accusing me of anything criminal, and before you say anything we're both going to regret hearing. He's gone, and I don't know where, and I don't care why. If you got some sort of evidence to the contrary, you'd have brought it out already, but you you don't, and these veiled accusations are getting on my nerves, so I suggest you shut the fuck up before something bad really does happen aboard this ship."

Orneev shuts the fuck up.]

Day 137
Finally found some cargo. 60t of polymers were on offer @ cr5600/tonne. We only had space for 38t, but they were willing to split the lot. For a fee, of course.

I had time to kill between shuttles, so I went round the bazaar a little. There was a new stall open selling all sorts of rare fruit and meat and liquor and candy. I made my first executive decision as captain and bought up way too much of the stuff. And it was seriously overpriced, but still... haven't seen fresh fruit in ages. And cheese! And flestok! Real flestok, not that reconstituted crap, either.

When I got back with the loot and told them that it was paid for with ship's money, the pair of them saluted sharply. Diula confined herself to a single joke about wanting off the ship now with her share of the cheese whilst she was setting the table. But the rest of the night was passed in proper camaraderie. Orneev and her didn't even squabble once!

We even had a reasonable discussion about business over the after-dinner eenhoi', about where we were actually headed. We've decided to try Uloryy. It's nothing special, and might not net the best price for our cargos, but Orneev reckons it won't be hard to find buyers. And despite the, shall we say, rustic character of the mainworld, they got a first rate Imperial shipyard.

cr759931 ship's fund

 -214928 polymers
    -700 berthing
   -6000 life support
   -1000 creature comforts


Day 138

It was almost a solemn event, finally decoupling from the habitat docking ring and setting off from the asteroid. And it was a long trip out to the gas giant for fuel. Orneev and I didn't feel much like talking, and Diula didn't want to leave the engine room unattended.

[no port event, no ship encounter]

Skimming fuel was routine, no in system chatter over the comm. Now we're heading out to 100 diameters, and saying a silent prayer to the gods of our various homeworlds, or whatever...

Dimming the lights... jump...

Hey, it worked!

Day 141

[Jump event -- had to reroll this a couple times as the table expects a full crew and passengers. But on the third go I got a result that made sense, with a little interpretation: Passenger declares he has seen a gun in another passenger’s stateroom.

= Orneev is getting nervous about Diula's pistol. Rolling a d6 to decide what he does about it: 1-3 tells Inty, 4-6 confronts Diula.]

Now that the elation of actually getting in to jumpspace has worn off, we're all starting to wear on each others nerves being cooped up in here. I almost suggested we open a couple bottles of the blue valonaise, but really I want to save it for the proper celebration of getting the ship back in real working order.

And Orneev is now all paranoid about Diula having a gun. I did point out that if she murders us in jump she can't fly the ship at the other end. But he thinks she's not likely to take that into consideration. I told him he's just being paranoid, she needs us as much as we need her right now. But he wouldn't let it go.

So I came up with a "grand scheme" involving filling the ship's locker with more than just shabby old vacc suits. So I started cleaning it out thoroughly (which it needed anyways) and making a big show of it, and sat in the lounge drawing up a list of supplies: medkits, carbines, breathers, maybe a shotgun. When it's nice and clean I'll approach her. "Hey, Diula, why don't you keep your gun & ammo in there. It could be the inaugural inhabitant of our all-new fancy ship's locker. You can even pick the first shelf!"

[What happens when Inty actually does talk to Diula?

1. Diula shoots Inty in a fit of pique
2. Diula starts an argument (attacks on 5+)
3. Diula starts an argument (attacks on 8+)
4. Diula says she'd rather have it in her room in case pirates attack.
5. Diula puts her body pistol in to be nice, but keeps the revolver.
6. Diula falls for the ruse completely, and puts both guns inside.

to be continued...]

(adventure continues here)

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Traveller - Library Data II

Time is short today, but here are a few quick notes pertaining to a system in Foreven Subsector O. This is probably a bit overboard for the short encounter (in the next Star Trader post, when it's finished)which it helps explain, but anything for a bit of colour, I guess.

Ghisl/Foreven 1736 A42057C-D

When Imperial scouts first contacted Ghisl in 738, they found a minor human race, the Unergn, whose dozen or so TL8 nations had spread out to live on minor planets and moons throughout the outer system. The homeworld itself had been abandoned for at least 150 years, as their star had become a red giant, boiling away Ghisl's seas and most of its atmosphere.

The Unergn were easily integrated into interstellar society, with many migrating to the Imperium and nearby pocket empires, whilst those who remained behind welcomed new peoples and ideas, and especially technologies, into their territories. With integration came a loss of cultural identity, making the Unergn as a separate branch of humaniti a relic of the past, with only a few scattered groups retaining their pre-contact cultural underpinnings (see Hrknrr Machine Cult).

The system was formally inducted into the Oonettijl Polity in 822, and is today has one of the better shipyards in the subsector. In 901 the homeworld was re-settled by groups from three of the remaining interplanetary nations, not out of any sense of history or sentimentality, but as centres for research and development of environmental technologies. The high law level on the "mainworld" is due to the level of secrecy and competition involved in these projects.

Hrknrr Machine Cult

The reclusive machine worshippers of the Hrknrr machine cult are a not uncommon site in the asteroid belts throughout Foreven's rimward subsectors.

When the pre-stellar Unergn (q.v.) had colonised their system, a religious movement arose amongst some of the inhabitants of the asteroid belt. They began to venerate the technology that kept them alive as an emanation of their god, Hrkei, and finally began to seek communion with the divine by the combination of man and machine. They began serious research into cybernetics, and as time went on they regarded cybernetic prostheses as the means to salvation, even going so far as to voluntarily replace healthy limbs and organs with less-efficient cybernetic or indeed simply robotic parts (the best they could do at TL8), and implanting as much metal and wire in the body as possible that served no "worldly" purpose. The Hrknrr coming-of-age ceremony involves surgical extraction of the teeth and their replacement with stainless steel denture plates.

The inward-looking nature of the cult caused them to shun outsiders, as much as their frightening appearance caused outsiders to shun them. They lived (and now live) in remote enclaves where they can commune with their machines in peace. Since they are live exclusively within the asteroid belts of a system, the cult members make their living much as do other belters: mining, salvage, and construction work. Amongst themselves, cult members speak Gwolhio, the last surviving Unergn language. Community spokespersons are conversant in Galanglic in order to deal with outsiders.

The conservative nature of their beliefs causes them to distrust both high and low technology. They generally believe anything below TL6 to be primitive and savage, and anything above TL11 to be sinful in its retreat from the sanctity of the nature of Machine. Generally, the larger and more mechanical the object, the more they regard it as holy; a TL4 steam engine would, for example, find much more favour than a TL9 slimline pocket communicator.

It should be noted that, next to their machines, the cultists value hard work, quiet contemplation, and truth above all else, and are devoted pacifists. Cheap holovid portrayals of them as drunkards, cannibals, or Zhodani sympathisers are to be condemned as the worst sorts of fiction.

N.B. Many cult members in the Imperium have replaced enough of their bodies with mechanical parts to legally be considered robots under the Shudusham Concords. The cult embrace this wholeheartedly, and consider the Imperium to be one of the most enlightened governments because of it.

Traveller - Astrography Data

I am reposting my original subsector (Foreven subsector P) along with the adjoining spinward subsector (O), this time with Classic Traveller trade codes.

Foreven Subsector O

Name          Hex  UPP       Bases Trade codes   T  PBG Allegiance
----          ---  ---       ----- -----------   -  --- ----------
Mool          1732 D484444-5       Ni               700
Sierv         1734 B8CA335-D  JM   Fl Lo Ni Wa      205 Oo
Mwoay         1735 A7877CB-C  J    Ag Ri            910 Oo
Ghisl         1736 A42057C-D  J    De Ni Po         324 Oo
Faikal        1737 A526549-E  J    Ni               303 Oo
Swaya         1831 A5857AA-B  J    Ag Ri            305 Xa
Etio          1835 C153358-9       Lo Ni Po         904 Oo
Lomus         1836 A473854-D  J                     801 Oo
Tshibn        1837 B9978A6-A  JM                    383 Oo
Ofi           1839 C55778C-4  W    Ag            A  405
Maaguuri      1931 B464458-D  J    Lo Ni            104 Xa
Virival       1932 BAA957A-B  M    Fl Ni            524 Xa
Moeun         1933 A000886-E       As Na            703 Xa
Neetix        1934 E641699-5       Ni Po            212
Domp          1935 C8B858A-A  W    Fl Ni            123
Dellia        1936 A000642-D       As Na Ni         242 Oo
Rafan         1937 B158612-7  W    Ag Ni         A  305
Logralu       2032 B471738-9                        203 Xa
Tsurdim-Hram  2033 C68A554-A       Ni Wa            204
Tuze          2035 C66A444-7       Ni Wa            705
Zalba         2037 E100447-A       Ni Va            105 Df
Ikaktu        2039 B579477-C  J    Ni               501
Uus           2132 A49699B-E  JM   Hi In            110
Woxit         2135 C580344-9  W    De Lo Ni         805
Tolirion      2137 B788736-9  J    Ag Ri            301 Df
Cuuwri        2138 A2027BF-9  M    Ic Na Va      R  602 Df
Kwiist        2139 B223330-A  JM   Lo Ni Po         612 Df
Tchuleh       2140 A799AFB-F  JM   Hi In         A  323
Yggnrf        2233 C767686-B       Ag Ni Ri         403
Usisli        2234 B878677-5       Ag Lt Ni         400
Stipps        2235 B6558B9-6  M                  A  203
Phllyg        2237 A3748AB-E  JM                    403 Df
X-Danis       2238 B000111-E       As Lo Ni      R  113
Milmass       2332 E565356-4       Lo Ni            600
Turtle        2336 D2037CB-7  W    Ic Na Va         122
Obox          2337 C7A2777-9       Fl               603 Df
Proshut       2338 C6317BD-5       Na Po         A  102
Vodyan        2431 B67A8DB-7       Wa            A  201
Tovinc        2435 C587783-3       Ag Ri            900
Nurn          2437 EA98530-6       Ag Ni            504
Delphi N0809  2439 X9A658C-4       Fl Ni         R  620

Foreven Subsector P

Name          Hex  UPP       Bases Trade codes   T  PBG Allegiance
----          ---  ---       ----- -----------   -  --- ----------
Estoner       2532 E338569-6       Ni               820 Zo
Piemal        2533 B792369-9  J    Lo Ni            624 Zo
Zoe           2534 BAAA257-E  J    Fl Lo Ni Wa      301 Zo
Lasperth      2537 B469443-A       Ni               300
Olos          2538 A588652-D  JM   Ag Ni Ri         903
Duza          2539 C363234-8  M    Lo Ni            624
Haarui        2540 C6B5555-8       Fl Ni            622
Lime          2632 X6758AA-1                        110
Mzarz         2639 A221775-B  J    Na Po            204
Eeharg        2640 BAB0866-6  M    De            A  503
i'Pa'trix     2733 B96676B-8  M    Ag Ri         R  900 Px
Pa'trix       2734 A7C09CF-D  JM   Hi In         A  101 Px
Antesh        2735 C569679-7  S    Ni Ri            704
Hope          2736 X202989-4       Hi Ic Na Va      304
Bleugh        2831 C533A95-7       Hi Na Po         700
  Tellbright  2834 B332211-B  JM   Lo Ni Po         300
Chabloha      2837 E733884-2       Na Po            304
Vrild         2839 X698536-0       Ag Ni         A  714
Fpozz         2933 D000320-9       As Lo            814
Dimmul        2936 C587A7A-C  M    Ri Hi         A  300
Yk            2937 D463545-3  S    Ni               102
Uloryy        3033 A877758-7  N    Ag               803 Im
Shiela        3034 E776366-5       Lo Ni            314 Im
'Dmeel        3038 A00059C-F  N    As Na Ni         610 Im
Nunuk         3039 C0005DF-9  V    As Ni         A  512
Biabr         3040 B343645-9  J    Ni Po            601
T'nan         3131 X664000-0       Ba            R  024
New Dlemmis   3134 B641400-B       Ni Po            902 Im
Oothoom       3135 A79A643-B  NS   Ni Wa            120 Im
Izbelia       3136 B774989-B  S    Hi In            303 Im
Mingiz        3137 A668887-C  N    Ri Cp            905 Im
Iaea          3138 A9E6241-E       Fl Lo Ni         802 Im
Imllgh        3139 A7B3534-D  N    Fl Ni            605 Im
Woon          3140 B675573-9  M    Ag Ni         A  603
Veegint       3234 B743784-A  S    Po               503 Im
Anandanang    3235 E3307C9-6       De Na Po         900 Im
Tierdan       3238 B200862-C  N    Na Va            910 Im

Base Codes:
N: Imperial Naval base
S: Imperial scout Base
J: non-Imperial naval base
M: non-Imperial military Base
V: Independent Base
W: Scout waystation

Allegiance codes:
Df: Demyush Federation
Im: Third Imperium
Oo: Oonettijl Polity
Px: Pa'trix
Xa: Xaxoi Alliance
Zo: Zoe

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Traveller - Star Trader: part 5

Day 109

Orneev leaves Fpozz aboard the Far Trader Dhirrungoeghiz. Despite the name and  manufacture of the ship, none of the crew are vargr. All the doors, hatches, fresher controls, etc. bear very costly brass sign plates engraved with legends in either Gvegh or Gvegh-aek (Orneev isn't quite sure which). Galanglic words have been scrawled in what appears to be marker pen above them. The captain makes no apologies for the ship; in fact she's rather proud of it. Pirates, she insists, assume it's a vargr-crewed vessel, and pass it over in favour of easier pickings.

[No ship encounter leaving Fpozz.
Jump event: Typical trip, with highs and lows.]

It's a quiet jump. The crew and other passengers mostly get on, and many an evening (ship's time) is spent in the common room drinking and swapping stories.

Day 115

Arrive at Pa'trix.

[1d3+5=] The Dhirrungoeghiz only spent six days in jumpspace. Everyone is almost sad the trip went by so fast.

[Ship Encounter: (Port A, +1 hi pop +1 naval base) 4+2=6 Special Table... Actually, nothing on there is very likely in this system, so I'll use the military table instead.
Destroyer Escort 1000 DE... that's more like it. Prepare to be boarded!]

The captain announces over the intercom that they need to go through customs before they are cleared to proceed to the highport. All passengers are to remain in their staterooms at all times and should expect to take their meals there. Full cooperation with the customs inspectors is encouraged.

The Pa'trixian customs inspectors could not resemble holo-vid villains any more if they tried: crisp black uniforms, jackboots, military bearing, gauss weapons... but underneath it all they're surprisingly affable. They seem to know the crew and the ship, and some of them are even overheard sharing a joke with the steward. However, they still have a job to do, and they're very thorough. And the longer it takes, the longer the passengers shut up in their rooms are pissing themselves with fear.

[Q: Any irregularities? Very unlikely: 76, No. No one really messes around coming here. It has a reputation.]

Day 116

The customs inspection lasts about 12 hours (Orneev has never before heard of a customs inspection that required a shift change), but the ship is finally cleared to put in at the starport. The ship docks and goodbyes are said, the if-our-paths-should-someday-again-meet common to travellers, and then Orneev is off to the starport hotel.

[no Port Event]

Orneev expects to stay about a week, so pays Cr640 in advance for room & board out of his own pocket (he now has Cr360 to his name).

He wants to sell his cargo of silver as soon as possible; he's not sure what taxes and duties the Pa'trixians tack on to their warehousing fees, and he doesn't really want to know. He very easily finds the government trade bureau, and goes inside to make a deal. The whole experience is smooth and painless. Maybe it's because he's really an expert broker [+3 for skill], or maybe they really needed silver this month [roll of 9 on 2d6], or maybe they just always really need it [+5 for selling silver on industrial world], but half an hour later he walks out of the bureau 2.8 million credits richer [9+3+5=400% sale price; cr70000 x 4 x 10tonnes = cr2800000!].

Orneev now is faced with a choice, the rather insane choice that comes to many travellers. He could just take the money and run. It's enough that he could settle down on practically any world he chose, buy a nice place, and live a life of leisure until the end of his days... assuming Diula and Inty didn't track him down with murder in their hearts. It's a big galaxy to get lost in though, so they might never find him. He could, of course, just travel. He's sitting on enough to buy 280 high passages. Even if he had to use some of it for miscellaneous expenses, he has enough to get from one corner of the Imperium to the other...

But no, he's instead going to sit around with Mcr2.8 feeling poor and desperate, and wishing he had enough to fix the Hekabe's drives -- it's not even a third of what they need! As much as he hates Diula, she does have a head for business... of a certain kind. And things between him and the captain are really good right now. And, let's face it, broken or not, he owns 1/3 of a starship. So, time to find another cargo.

Searching for cargo takes 2 days [per Star Trader]. He comes upon a 25t lot of electronics parts going really cheap [-4 purchase price for Pa'trix being an industrial world, 2d6-4=1; 40%] for Kcr40/tonne. He buys the whole lot for 1Mcr.

He decides to see if he can find anything else to make a more profitable trip back. After 2 more days he finds a load of pharmaceuticals, [+4 purchase price for Industrial, 100%] but he's not sure he could turn much of a profit on them, so decides against the purchase.

One last go: after 2 more days he finds an 8t consignment of body armour [-1 purchase price, 50%] at Kcr25/tonne. He buys this for cr200000.

Day 121

Now he needs to find a ship. It transpires that the Far Trader Hypsipyle has [2d6-4=60%] 36t of cargo space free. It's enough. He buys a high passage and pays cr33000 for the cargo space, and he's nearly on his way back to Fpozz.

Day 122

Getting out of Pa'trix is much simpler than getting in [no ship encounter]. The Hypsipyle travels out to 100 planetary diameters and then jumps without incident.

The week aboard ship in jumpspace is mostly uninteresting. [Jump event: Recycling systems require maintenance, it’s a messy job. (but not Orneev's problem)]

Day 129

The Hypsipyle arrives at Fpozz.

[no ship encounter]

Orneev has two cargos to sell and a Mcr1.5 credit balance on top of it, making this their most profitable trip to date. He can't wait to share the good news.

(adventure continues here)

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Traveller - Library Data

 Library data on a handful of systems in Foreven subsector P


E3307C9-6 De Na Po

Settled by a colonial generation ship in 732, Anandanang has in recent decades been trying to shake off its reputation for being a remote backwater world. Despite being on a Jump-1 main, it was seldom visited due to the fact that it has no liquid oceans and the system lacks a gas giant. Its low (pre-stellar) tech level and lack of real starport facilities certainly did nothing to help matters.

The planetary government has been making great strides in attracting commerce to the planet, which led to its acceptance as an imperial protectorate. Anandanang supplies a large number of military personnel to the Imperium (mostly ground forces, but the navy has not been averse to recruiting from the planet's elite). There are also large stretches of wasteland set aside for the imperial marines' desert survival & combat training run by local instructors whose knowledge of such harsh environments is unmatched within the subsector.

Anandanang has very little in the way of commercial exports, mostly local arts & crafts and architectural/ornamental stone. In order to increase commercial traffic, many improvements have been made to the downport (it is approaching reclassification to D) and incentives for traders abound. There is no highport, but the government operates a surplus 2000t freighter as an orbital refuelling station. Any merchant ship under 600t leaving the planet with a full cargo of local goods will be refuelled for free. Larger ships may apply for reduced refuelling contracts with the port authority. The refuelling ship makes occasional trips to Oothoom to purchase refined fuel, about once every 3 months.

The planetary government has also been encouraging tourism to bolster the economy. The deserts are full of natural splendour. ATV treks and even hiking excursions are becoming popular with wealthy offworlders, due in no small part to the government-backed marketing campaigns across the subsector.

The populace itself is also billed as an attraction. Friendliness, cooperation, and hospitality are their most highly prized cultural values. Survival on such an unforgiving planet fostered these behaviours; the colonists viewed the harsh environment as the enemy rather than each other, and banded together to overcome it.


B774989-B Hi In

A hundred years (and three tech levels) ago, Izbelia was a pleasant, Rich, pre-stellar world seeking inclusion into the Third Imperium. Since that time, the influx of imperial monies and the laissez-faire attitudes of the ruling council have vastly improved the planet's technological and manufacturing base at the expense of its environment. The effects on the world's citizens, however, are more complex. Individual freedoms and ease of movement have been somewhat curtailed, though vocal dissent is still somewhat acceptable and there are no reprisals such as are common on other high-law worlds. Wages are quite low by most standards, and most of the populace lives below the poverty line, but the standard of living has been rising as new technologies have been made readily available, and unemployment is almost unknown except in the largest cities. The IISS base is a source of wonderment to the local population but is viewed with suspicion by the world's rulers. In actual fact, its position orbiting a distant gas giant in the system (32 AU from the mainworld's orbit) means that it has very little to do with the lives of the people at all, though they do recruit from the state-run college in Nordonda, the capital city.


B743784-A Po

Veegint is a rather unremarkable planet on the edge of Imperial space. Travellers will find that most of their needs can be adequately provided for, but as a rule superior facilities exist on other worlds only a few jumps away. Many subsector-wide corporations have branch offices in the capital city of Belnn, but just as many do not. Veegint is truly only of importance to the IISS. The largest Scout Base in the subsector is located in orbit around the planet; it is the administrative hub of all Imperial scout activity in the Foreven sector, and maintains equipment of a tech level far surpassing that of the planet itself. It is also the coreward end of the X-boat route linking the Imperial worlds in Foreven to the island of imperial influence in the Seven Sisters subsector of the Spinward Marches. The more conspiratorially-minded point out that Veegint lies closest to the interdicted system of T'nan, where imperial scientists pursue projects of such questionable legality that they cannot operate within Imperial borders. Needless to say, these rumours have no basis in reality.

New Dlemmis

B641400-B Ni Po

New Dlemmis is a poor, arid world without any law or government. The inhabitants live on a mixture of independent farms and homesteads, or else in corporate outposts and mines exploiting the planet's mineral wealth. The local tech level is high, all things considered, though most of the technology was originally brought from off world.

The first settlers only arrived in 1043. They renamed the planet from Delphi P-0704 to New Dlemmis, in honour of Dlemmis City on Oothoom. The planet had been completely overlooked for centuries until the IISS resurveyed it in 1035, discovering large deposits of tin, zinc, and iridium, and also nutrient-rich volcanic soil that favoured the introduction of junafl, a cactus-like tree, and herds of untefyi (500kg grazers who feed upon the junafl), to be raised as food stock.


A877758-7 Ag

Uloryy is a pleasant (despite the atmospheric taint) agricultural world. Most of the population live in small farming communities, and it isn't unusual for the nearest neighbour to be many kilometres away. There are a few big cities, mostly serving as transport hubs and administrative centres. Food from Uloryy feeds many planets throughout the subsector, making it one of the Imperium's most important holdings. A top quality starport has been built on the world, which sees visits from dozens of enormous bulk freighters every day. There is also a large Naval base on Uloryy's single moon. The Imperium recognises the strategic value of such a world, and goes to great lengths to ensure its prosperity and security.


A7C0A9E-D De Hi In Amber

Pa'trix is considered by many to be a hellish world. With a surface gravity of 1.6g, temperature in excess of 350C, and an acidic atmosphere, it is a wonder that it is inhabited at all. But inhabited it is, with the bulk of it's billion inhabitants living underground, or in the strange black spires of the arcologies that rise hundreds of meters above the blasted orange rock of the world's surface. The government is as unforgiving as the environment, with the bulk of its citizens living in fear of the oppressive, totalitarian régime. The factories of the world produce ultra high-tech goods for export. Trade is tightly regulated, but many corporations and free traders alike are willing to put up with the red tape in order to score lucrative deals with the governmental Exterior Trade Commission; there is no private sector on Pa'trix. Fortunately for nearby worlds, Pa'trix seems content to remain relatively insular and has no expansionist predilections. Pa'trix's navy is formidable, but possessed of few jump-capable ships. In the past 600 years, Pa'trix has only been goaded into one interstellar conflict, with Lime in 1087. After a brutal assault on Lime's industrial and military centres, the Pa'trixian fleet simply retreated back to their own world. Lime has yet to recover from the war. Pa'trix's only outside holding is the prison world of i'Pa'trix (B96676B-8 Ag Red). This world is absolutely forbidden to outsiders. Any uninvited ship approaching within 150 diameters of the planet can expect to be fired upon by the Pa'trixian naval vessels interdicting the world. Some provision is made for ships who misjump into the system, but even these can expect to be boarded and searched thoroughly. Prisoners on i'Pa'trix lead hard lives working the enormous farms that cover the planet's surface. They are divided into communities based on their status as violent, non-violent, political etc. offenders, and as long as quotas are met they are left to organise and fend for themselves. The prison overseers reside within the great military fortress at the planet's northern pole, and exert their influence through vidcom meetings with the Select Prisoners Boards who manage each settlement. Punishments meted out by the overseers are infrequent but severe. Generally, this involves punitive strikes by army units stationed onworld, but in serious cases has been known to include orbital bombardment. Most sentences are for life. The prisoners are a mix of criminals and dissidents from Pa'trix, and criminals from other worlds whose governments have payed a small fee. The giant farms supply food for Pa'trix; surpluses are generally sold on to other worlds, though in some instances have been shipped off as food aid. In fact, the short term survival of the population of Lime after the war is largely credited to food drops from the same Pa'trixian battle tenders that brought the ships which devastated the planet's infrastructure.


C587A7A-C Hi Amber

Dimmul is a high-population, balkanised world whose amber classification stems from the numerous space and ground wars that have plagued the system for the past 60 standard years.

There are approximately 70 nations of various sizes on the planet itself -- the number varies as coups and invasions take their toll. Only about 25 of these nations are unaligned; the rest belong to one of three factions vying for control of the world. There are two additional power blocs on minor planets in the system. The larger nations on Dimmul prefer to fight proxy wars through their lesser allies. There are, at the time of this writing (100-1106) six shooting wars involving the mainworld, five on the ground and one in space. These have all been dragging on for decades, and are mostly stalemated.

The Imperium maintains a planetary embassy in the unaligned city-state of Vunsetgie, on the planet's equator. Dimmul's major starport is located in the city state as well, with the highport in stationary orbit above. Officially, the Imperium does not support any of the factions, and Imperial diplomats are often called in to broker treaties between them. There does exist an unofficial policy of providing aid to the minor nations, though direct military intervention is prohibited.

The Imperium does not regulate mercenary companies based within the Imperium that wish to pursue tickets on Dimmul, but many of them are hesitant to do so since the Imperial Rules of War do  not apply. Nuclear weapons have never been used on Dimmul, as nuclear escalation would render the planet quickly uninhabitable, but chemical (and, to a lesser extent, biological) warfare is unfortunately common.