Sunday, 9 August 2015

Traveller - Star Trader: part 11

Date: 250-1106

arrive at Yk/Foreven (2937 D463545-3 Ni)

Soon after hitting normal space we were met by a 400t close escort. The comms officer told us that they were part of an anti-piracy task force sent from Mingiz, and that we should be careful whilst we're here, and let them know if we see anything suspicious. When they found out we just came from Mingiz, they were real anxious for any news on the storms. Seems about half their crew is from there, and they hadn't heard anything for more than a week. I sent them all the broadcasts I recorded when I was sleeping or too busy to watch live, and they were super grateful. [ship encounter: 400t close escort - Warn you of piracy in this system]

Starport here is class D, so there's no highport. Put in at the downport, which is probably the saddest I've seen since Lime. Lots of sheetmetal buildings and ancient forklifts. Not a grav pod in sight. But they have a communications bureau of a sort, and plenty of locals selling stuff around the perimeter. Had to buy us some cold weather clothing. The local stuff's all skins and furs, weirdly bumpy purple and crimson leather seems to be the fashion, and red-brown pelts. At least we'll fit in. Except Heldamin who's got another sparkly robe, that is.

Decided we'd look for cargo away from the port. Everyone wants to see the sites. Or almost everyone. Diula says she hates this primitive stuff and would prefer to stay aboard ship. Caidro wants to stay and guard his cargo. Well, the rest of us will have fun.

Date: 251-1106

It took a whole day's ride to get from the port to Vcru Teol, a modestly-sized (20,000pop) city. At least I think it was a day. I'm told it's Twilight Season now, so it won't get any lighter. They took us in waggons pulled by these four-legged, pointy-eared, spindly-legged beasts called horses. I'm told they aren't native to this world. We could see the fires lighting the city from about 10km or so off. Actual fires! And the buildings look so fragile and spindly, climbing up into the dark sky. Everyone's wearing furs and cloaks, it's cold but not so bad I think, and about every third person is walking round with some sort of muzzle-loader rifle on their back, with carved wood stocks. The air's really clean, and smells sweet from the plant fibre they burn. Good business or not, I'm glad we came.

Date: 252-1106

[world event: Goods are on offer direct from the grower/manufacturer. It is top quality stuff that will sell with a +1 bonus.]

We found a factor for some planet-wide trading company who was eager to deal. He'd got a consignment of blades -- war blades, farm tools, all sorts -- from the famous blacksmiths of Jwahhios Teol (as he said) that was sitting in his warehouse. He said they were too expensive to unload locally, but offworld "people would clamour for such wondrous steel". He showed us a selection, and though none of us are experts, we could see that he wasn't exaggerating. His price was steep, but no surprise there. Orneev said he was sure we could make a tidy profit off these at our next stop [Chabloha is poor, so +3 sale DM], so we bought all 10 tonnes.

[10t blades @ cr13,000/t; purchase roll 12 (!) -2 (away from port mod.)=10: 130%]

And I got to use our new commos to call the ship and let them know to expect a delivery, in case it arrives back before we do. Probably won't, but Diula wanted us to try them out.

. . .

Later: Things got real messy real fast. Didn't notice the streets getting empty, and so we didn't realise it was 'late'. I guess the locals' bodyclocks keep the same day-night cycles even in the Twilight Season. We were just wandering the city, taking in the sights, and then suddenly we were surrounded by these four rough-looking women. They were wearing long black cloaks and furs underneath that were looking a bit mangy. The leader had a crossbow, and another had a sword. "Hey, offworlders!" she said, I guess we didn't really blend in at all. "How about you hand over your valuables to save us the trouble of having to search your corpses." And I was sure they meant it.

But then Heldamin had a gauss pistol in her hand spitting slugs at them and it all went to hell real quick.

[encounter in town: 4 peasants (TL-3, so TL1 weapons only), Hostile attack on 5+: 11=attack
PCs roll 5+1(Leader skill) vs. NPCs 6+0 = no surprise
short range ~4m
Q: What are they after? Kill / Good - they're brigands

       UPP    Weapon     hit damage
       ---    ------     --- ------
Thug A 89B467 sword      +1   2D
Thug B 8A7694 dagger     +3   2D
Thug C C48976 cudgel     +3   2D
Leader 379567 crossbow   +1   3D

Inty   939A84 shotgun    -1   4D
Orneev 86B798 carbine    +0   3D
Bval   56674A carbine    +1   3D
Held   46894B gauss pst. +1   4D

-Round 1-
The PCs weapons are all slung, so they have a -3DM to hit this round.
Inty fires a singularly ineffectual blast with her shotgun at the swordswoman (missed A). Orneev drops B with a quick shot from his carbine (14 damage drops END to 0 and STR to 1, KO). Bval is good with a carbine too; his shot drops C, seriously wounding her (DEX & END to 0). Heldamin is lucky not to hit one of her friends (rolls a 3).

Classic Traveller combat is simultaneous, so all the brigands still get to attack.
One hits Inty with her sword, reducing STR to 0 and END to 8; Inty passes out from shock. Orneev is nearly sliced open by a dagger, but fortunately cold weather clothing counts as jack armour, so he feels a draught but is otherwise unhurt. Bval is not so lucky. The woman's club crashes down on his head, cracking his skull (DEX and END both reduced to 0; serious wound). The leader's crossbow bolt whizzes past Heldamin's head.

-Round 2-
The brigands need 6+ for a morale check; they stand.

The remaining brigands press in on their opponents. Orneev finds shooting at this range a bit challenging (-4DM at close range) as the woman can grab his gun to push it aside. The leader drops her crossbow to charge at Heldamin with a dagger. Heldamin fires point-blank, dropping her in her tracks.

-Round 3-
The last brigand turns and runs (failed Morale). Heldamin fires after her but she gets away.

The sounds of gunfire will certainly attract the city guard. A roll under the planet's Law Level (5-) means there will be trouble: 12= No trouble at all.]

They came at us fast, and I barely got a shot off before I got hit in the side with a sword. Of all things! There was a lot of blood and then it all went fuzzy.

I came to in Orneev's arms not long after, and he was so sweet and worried it was very touching. Heldamin was talking to the city guardsman that were suddenly everywhere, I thought we were really in trouble then but it turns out these were notorious brigands that jumped us and the city guard were happy we delivered three of them into their hands. They brought us to a doctor -- a chirurgeon, they called him. He patched me up ok in no time, but he said Bval was in a really bad way and couldn't be moved.

We agreed that we couldn't wait for him to get better, so he would have to be left behind. I'm going to give him his last month's salary and throw in one of the mid passage vouchers I've been sitting on. I feel a bit guilty, but he was a pretty shit medic to begin with.

Date: 254-1106

Took another whole "day" to ride back to the port. The blades came about 23 standard hours later.

[port event: Someone needs to get off-world fast ... but its not as simple as that ....
Q: Why not? Antagonise / Good
Random NPC from patrons list: Researcher]

Zuuganaamsa Keshushagu
female vilani
homeworld: Lasperth
267985  Scientist  Age:38  5 Terms
computer-1, air/raft-1, medic-2, leader-1
auto pistol, high psg, low psg, cr60000

There was a woman travelling with us from Vcru Teol, a vilani scientist called Zuuganaamsa. She said she really couldn't deal with this backwater any longer and wanted to know if we could get her offworld. Turns out she's a medical researcher, and we do need a new ship's medic.

Caidro was the only one who balked, but I explained to him that we legally needed a medic aboard, and if we got boarded again without one...

Diula said that was really cold, she didn't think I had it in me. I had just meant it would cause us a lot of problems. I forgot what happened to Caidro the last time we got boarded. Dammit, I was just trying to be a good captain!

ship's fund cr323,592

 +100,000 charter (on 251-1106)
   -2,000 B's final salary
 -130,000 blades
     -600 cold weather clothing
cr290,992 new ship's fund

next charter payment on 265-1106.
next mortgage also 265-1106.

Date: 255-1106
All loaded and heading out to the jump point. The new doc seems ok. She can treat a sword wound ok, not that I plan on making a habit of getting them!

Ran into a modular cutter doing some sort of planetary survey. They were polite and returned our hail, but they were too busy to talk.

Almost time to jump now.

[Jump event: Cargo containers have shifted due to grav compensator malfunction. Need re-setting.
I made a quick table to determine what had shifted, and what the likelihood (in Mythic terms) of Caidro freaking out since he's so protective of his/Heldamin's cargo.

die what shifted freakout
--- ------------ --------
1-2 blades       unlikely
3-4 H's cargo    likely
5-6 both         50/50

Q: Does Caidro get angry? 50/50: 90, No.

Cargo shifts, Diula and Caidro go to fix it, no big deal. Inty doesn't bother recording the incident in the log. But it could have been a disaster, so I gave it a chance to play out.]

(adventure continues here)


  1. You were correct, the dice were not kind to Bval . . . oh, well . . . short term crewman.

    -- Jeff

    1. Of al the RPGs I've ever played, I've found that only Call of Cthulhu has a higher body count than Traveller.