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)


  1. That's very nice indeed . . . but what has been going on on-board the Hekabe?

    -- Jeff

  2. Now I'm wondering if the Traveller mechanics actually favor merchants renting cargo space instead of owning the ship itself. And I'll echo Jeff's curiosity about what has gone wrong for the rest of the crew, this went too smoothly. The gods of the dice must be saving some interesting rolls for the others.

    1. I'm not sure. Having your own ship certainly provides more freedom and gives you more control. Waiting around for a ship with enough cargo space free to take whatever you're sitting on could get tedious if the dice are against you. Orneev had a really good run of luck, too, and also benfitted from the fact that cargo space on an A2 freighter varies between editions -- he shouldn't have been able to move all 33t at once. There is definitely a lot less overhead involved in being a passenger-speculator, but it's still more fun to have your own ship.

    2. Damn GDW editing! I just noticed that there are two different cargo capacities for the A2 listed in Traders and Gunboats. Time to find the errata.