Saturday, 5 September 2015

Solo Traveller - Episode 21: Scenes from a far trader

[A few notes before the adventure starts:

Since the original MGT campaign merged with the CT Star Trader one, I needed to make a choice which rules to use from here on in. I settled on Classic Traveller, since I have approximately 10 times as many supplements for it. Eshtam and Lt. Gytovo needed to be re-statted for CT. His stats were easy enough to find. For her I ran through normal generation using book 6 and made sure she ended up with roughly the same skills. The entire party's stats are at the bottom of this post, mostly so I can have them all in one place.

Eshtam and the Lieutenant have each been given cr10,000 for expenses, communicators, and their preferred weapons. The rest of the party's weapons are locked in the ship's locker; Eshtam has the only key. Medkits and vacc suits have been moved into an empty stateroom.

For the GM Emulator, I will be using my new Morning Coffee Solo Variations with Mythic. The trip to Ikaktu will be played out without scenes, and use a static Chaos Factor (Average) in order to see how it works at the baseline.

The POV will be alternating between Inty's log entries and normal 3rd person narration. I'll try to mark transitions in some consistent fashion.]

Dimmul/Foreven (2936 C587A7A-C Ri Hi) / Date: 289-1106

Private Log:

I can't believe I still have a ship and crew after all this. I was so certain we were all going to be sent off to i'Pa'trix for hard labour for the rest of our natural lives. And after the third day of interrogation it was starting to seem like the more appealing option!

Diula's said she's sorry about the combat drug about a million times since we shipped out. I suppose I shouldn't tell her that they only found out about it because I mentioned it in the ship's log -- even though I hid it on the books. Going to keep things like that hidden from now on. Not that I expect to have much to hide. Too much trouble. I think we're all feeling a bit chastened.

Afraid to look at the books, but I'll have to soon. The Imperium's repatriation scheme to get all the foreign mercs offworld is a big help. We've been paid for a two-week charter, and got free life support refreshes from the port authority. Headed out to the gas giant now. We "volunteered" too late, so missed our shot at the refined fuel. The Bank has activated the world-emergency clause, so our mortgage payment is deferred for a month, but that's a month we've already lost a week of. Plus Heldamin's last charter payment didn't go through. I guess she got betrayed too.

Got ourselves 12 "passengers". 8 double-bunked in our empty staterooms, 4 unlucky souls travelling low passage. They all seem a little shell-shocked, so I don't think there'll be trouble from them. The other 4, I'm not so sure about. The official scheme is one thing. This penance the navy is making us do is another.

We "agreed" to take on a new ship's doctor, Lieutenant Sir Thuston Veev, M.D. Ex-navy, or so he says, but I think he's a spy. Seems nice enough though. Then we got those two soldiers what showed up out of nowhere and commandeered my ship in the first place. The guy's alright, I guess. Big dumb marine, obviously the muscle. But her I don't like, all acting like we can't be trusted to run the ship and demanding to check over every little thing. And they stop talking every time you come into the room. That really pisses me off. Says she ain't a soldier but won't say more. Orneev thinks she's part of some ultra-secret Black Ops group in naval intelligence. Diula swears she's MoJ. I think they watch too many trashy vids. Then of course we got Heldamin. I'm more worried about what Orneev or especially Diula might do to her, she'll prolly just spend her time pickled in her stateroom. I don't know why they are transporting her to some undisclosed destination in the next subsector, but I am sure it can't be for anything good.

That Commander Dorus sure did give us a pretty speech about the importance of keeping schtumm and not jeopardising the Imperium's attempts to put right several wrongs which resulted in the tragic events on Dimmul. I thought he was a nice guy until he made us sign the Official Secrets Act, and intimated that Bad Things Would Happen if we stepped out of line.


Later: Passed a type-S scout ship en route to the gas giant when we were headed away from it. Eshtam told me not to hail, they're almost certainly bound for Mingiz on official business. Shit, lady! whose ship is this anyway?

Date: 290-1106

Jump. Surprised Herself trusted me to press the button myself.

~ ~ Interlude : Eshtam & Lt. Gytovo ~ ~

"Hey Estam," says the Lieutenant as he stands in the door of her stateroom, "mind if I come in?"


"I never got a chance to ask, with all the mission prep and getting settled in to our new ship and all. But what did Thurmond want with you for so long after the meeting? Did he finally re-instate your commission... or however it works in the scouts?"

"What? Oh, no... nothing like that. He can't right now, not with all that's going on. He just wanted to make sure I was OK going back to Ikaktu."

"You've been before?"

"Yeah. 's where I got this." Eshtam holds her left eye open and taps it with her finger. The nail clicks sharply against plastic.

"Oh... sorry. I didn't realise you had a... I mean, you can't tell."

"No worries. I recovered. Look, though, since you're here: I... I just want to say I'm sorry you got dragged back into this. I thought they'd let you go back to your ship, I really did."

"I volunteered."

"You what?"

"I volunteered. I want to see this through."

"Oh, that's, ummm... shit, I don't know what to say."

"I think the word you're looking for is 'idealistic'. That's the whole reason I joined the Imperial Marines in the first place -- I wanted to protect the weak and the innocent, hunt down the bad guys and bring some justice to the world. When that vargr gave us the dossier on this Ladver guy, I couldn't read it after the first few sections. Suddenly the anti-piracy details I'd been on seemed a lot less significant. And I seen some seriously bad shit on those missions, believe me. So... so here I am. Still not 100% comfortable with all this cloak-and-dagger stuff, but... but I'll follow your lead."

"Good. I promise not to steer you wrong. But I can't promise it'll all be very nice, but it will all be necessary. On some assignments, I've done questionable things."

"Yeah. I guessed..."



"No, you were going to say something else. I'm a big girl, I can handle it. Spit it out."

"Alright. The Baron had a pretty serious go at you in the briefing, just like he did the time before. It got me to thinking... to worrying, I guess... like, what does he know? Or suspect? I mean: have you worked with this Ladver guy before?"

"No. I'd been only vaguely aware of him, heard the name once or twice, but I've never been anywhere near him. Thurmond runs political missions, and tends to stay away from criminals -- not that it's any less dirty, and not that I don't think Thurmond hasn't done work with Ladver in the past -- but he never had me involved. My last mission in the Scouts was a real mess, and had to be buried. I don't really know what his problem is about it, but nothing that happened then has any relation to the current mission. And for the sake of our nascent friendship, don't ask me any more about it."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

[jump event: Passenger is extremely reclusive; will not come out of his cabin
1-3 Heldamin, 4-5 a Merc, 6 a PC
1d6=6; 1d7=Diula
Q: Cause for alarm? 50/50 (4+): O1 C3, No, but... Inty worries. (Oracle die = 1, so No; Chaos die = 3, so But... ; Chaos die ≠ Oracle die, so no random event.)]

Date: 293-1106

Haven't seen Diula much since we shipped out. She's spent a bare minimum of time in engineering to keep things running, and has spent the rest of the time locked in her stateroom. She's even taking meals there. She finally let me in to talk to her, and she seemed way more ok that I expected. Said she's just exhausted from stress and is going to sleep it off. I guess I'm kind of relieved. At least she isn't crying herself to sleep every night like Orneev.

I am never transporting mercenaries anywhere ever again. It just isn't worth it.

~ ~ Interlude : Sir Thuston Veev & Orneev ~ ~

"I've been looking all over for you," says Sir Thuston. "What are you doing down here?"

"I'm mopping." replies Orneev without looking up. "I should think that was obvious."

"I see that, but, why the cargo hold?"

"Can't sleep. Captain kicked me out of bed for tossing and turning too much. Your boss is on the bridge, and the common area is full of cranky mercenaries. So I came down here to be alone. And when I'm stressed I like to clean."

"It's a good habit for a spacer. I wish there'd been more like you aboard the Dauntless on my last tour."

"Did you want something?"

"Only to see how you're doing, and if there's anything you need. I'd be a poor ship's doctor if I didn't look after the crew's well-being: mental as well as physical."

"Checking up on me to see if there's anything you need to report to your superiors?"

"Now, that's unfair. I was enjoying my early retirement in a beachfront music hall when the nukes went off. I marched straight into the Imperial embassy when I heard the news to volunteer for aid work, and I was on a cargo shuttle to a triage centre three hours later -- still in my evening wear. I spent a week treating radiation burns and then got a message that I was being officially reactivated and I needed to report to the Maud at the earliest opportunity. I wanted to stay where I was most needed, but I'm a nobleman of the Imperium, and duty is duty. I have an old commander -- a friend -- who's pretty high up in Naval Intelligence. This nightmare on Dimmul has some pretty far-reaching consequences. Now, my friend couldn't let me know any details about this mission; it's highly classified. But she is the one who had me reactivated, and had me assigned here to be your new ship's medic. And, in a sense, you're right: I am here to watch over things. But neither Ms. Dreejeh nor Lt. Gytovo is my superior. I'm not here to keep an eye on you; I'm here to keep an eye on them."

~ ~ ~ ~

Date: 296-1106

Arrived at Hope/Foreven (2736 X202989-4 Hi Ic Na Va )

Quiet trip to the gas giant. Not a sound from the mainworld, but that's nothing new. Last time I was on a ship through here everyone crowded into the bridge to watch the instruments and try to figure out how there could be so many people living here and no one's ever seen or heard from them. Me, I always figured the library data was wrong and there never was no one here to hear from! But it was always fun as traditions go. But now when I announced our arrival, no one seemed even remotely interested. Even our erstwhile commander said not to bother her unless there's a ship in the scopes.

I kinda thought there'd be a lot more traffic through the subsector's favourite refuelling station, especially with all the traders volunteering to get the mercs off Dimmul. Guess I was wrong.

This is boring all by myself.

[no encounter going to the gas giant, and no problems with refuelling, but an outbound encounter is rolled: 400t fat trader - radio silence they fear pirates]

Date: 298-1106

Detected a single, solitary fat trader on the trip out to the jump point. They weren't answering any hails. I called Our Fearless Leader in to see, and she showed up with her marine in tow. Took one look at the sensors, then sent him out to fetch Heldamin. She was completely fucked, dumb grin on her face, couldn't hold her head upright, and her eyes were swimming around in different directions. He literally had to carry her onto  the bridge and put her down in the navigator's chair, and then grab her head to point her face at the screen.

"Well?" says Eshtam.

Heldamin slurred something like "It's a ship."

"But is it his ship? Lieutenant, read her out the transponder details."

"How many times I hafta tell you," says Heldamin, "he only flies a 200 tonne ship. Tha's 400 tonnes. Did you fail maths or summat?"

Eshtam didn't say a thing, just walked out. The marine grabbed Heldamin and dragged her back to her stateroom. I heard him mumble something about getting the doctor to lower her doses. I've seen her in a right state before, but this is getting creepy.

. . .

Later: Orneev was on watch when we hit the jump point, and called me in to be the captain and do the honours. Didn't even get dressed. I just trudged into the cockpit in my bathrobe and hit the jump button without dimming the lights or making any announcements, and went back to bed. I just don't even care any more.

Date: 303-1106

So no one got mad that we jumped without warning. Small mercies, I guess. Heldamin's been up and about more since we hit jump space. I heard Eshtam say she'd told the doctor to put her on 'half rations'. So she's coming out more and sitting in the common room. Orneev and Diula are pretending she doesn't exist, and the mercs don't really want to talk to her either. I think someone told them not to. I tried for a while, but after 10 minutes she just tried to convince me to get her some sedatives out of one of the medkits, so I have been finding things to do so I don't have to listen to her whingeing about boredom and how things are unfair. That's left the doctor as the only one who has any time for her, and they seem to have nothing in common but fancy restaurants and swish resorts on every planet from here to Capital.

. . .

[jump event: engineering problem requires all crew to help replace a huge component

Q: Does anyone try to profit from the chaos? 50/50 (4+): O4 C7, Yes. (Oracle die = 4, so Yes; Chaos die = 7, so no Qualifier ; Chaos die ≠ Oracle die, so no random event.)

Q: Who? 1-2 Heldamin, 3-4 one or two mercs, 5-6 1d6+2 mercs

Q: How? Work Hard / Travel]

Later: And then things got exciting! Diula came running out of engineering shrieking that there was a problem. And there was nasty-smelling smoke rolling up the corridor behind her. Some of the plasma coils for the M-drive had slipped their housings and were falling out of the bulkhead. There was coolant leaking everywhere and gods know what other chemicals were starting to burn. The marine unlocked the ships locker and started distributing breathers to everyone who could help. First that was just the doctor [engineering-1], me [JoT-1], and Eshtam [JoT-1], but four of us working together could barely shift the damn things, let alone replace the housings. Then Heldamin, of all people, started ordering the mercs about, getting every able-bodied soldier into the compartment to heft the machinery whilst the four of us who knew what we were doing made the repairs. Heldamin was even barking orders at Eshtam's pet marine by the end of it, and those tiny little hands of hers came in handy to reach in between the pipes and fish out the fragments of busted metal.

It took damn near five hours but we got it fixed. I'm more than a little peeved that the structural weakness in the housings didn't get flagged up during the annual maintenance, but that's a problem for another day. Mostly I'm just happy that in a crisis we finally found a bit of, as Diula put it with one of her funny old Solomani expressions, a spree décor. We were all really shattered when it was finished, but in good spirits and all even friendly for a change. So I made one of my executive decisions and we repaired to the common room and I had Orneev open up the last bottles of the blue valonaise. I hope it sticks. I'm tired of being captain of the Good Ship Misery.

. . . . . . .

Captain Inty Liljingiv - Captain / Owner aboard / Navigator
939A84   Age 38   ex-Merchant   5 terms
Homeworld: Mingiz/Foreven (A668887-C Ri Cp)
Human female
Admin-1, Gambling-3, Gunnery-1, JOT-1, Leader-2, Legal-1, Liaison-1, Navigation-1, Pilot-1, Ship's Boat-1, Steward-2, Vacc-1, Zero-G Combat-1

Orneev Herremmenen - Steward
86B798   Age 34   ex- Merchant O1   4 terms
Homeworld: Haarui/Foreven (2540 C6B5555-8 Fl Ni)
Human Male
Brawling-1, Bribery-1, Broker-3, Dagger-1, Gambling-1, Legal-2, Steward-2

Diula Korfize - Engineer
85C798   Age 34   ex-Skyport Authority   4 terms
Homeworld: Veegint/Foreven (3234 B743784-A)
Solomani female
Admin-3, Body Pistol-1, Bribery-1, Engineering-1, Gambling-1, Gravitics-1, Interrogation-2, Streetwise-1

Lieutenant Sir Thuston Veev, M.D. - Medic
996BBB  Age 38  ex-Navy  5 terms
Engineering-1, Computer-1, Medical-3, Admin-1, Gunnery-1, Dagger-1
Cr4600, Dagger, Travellers', medkit, revolver

Dame Heldamin Ngiff
46894B  Age 26  Noble  2 terms
Homeworld: Zoe/Foreven (2534 BAAA257-E Fl Lo Ni Wa)
Human female
carousing-2, gauss pistol-1, vacc-1

2nd Lt. Tendhas Gytovo
AB8888   Age 26   Marines  2 terms
Homeworld: Imllgh/Foreven (3139 A7B3534-D Fl Ni)
Human Male
Battle dress-1, Combat Rifleman-1, Cutlass-1 Zero-G Weapons-1, Gunnery-2, Interrogation-1, Survival-1, Tactics-1, Vacc-2
4x combat service ribbons, 2xMCUF

Eshtam Dreejeh
6AAE94   Age 34  ex-Scout  4 terms
Homeworld: Izbelia/Foreven (3136 B-774989-B Hi In)
Human female
Auto pistol-1, Bribery-2, Commo-1, Equestrian-1, Gunnery-2, Jack-O-T-1, Pilot-1, Recon-2, Rifle-3, Streetwise-2, Survival-1, Vacc-1, Zero-g Combat-1


  1. Hopefully we will have a new post soon, eh?

    -- Jeff

    1. Working on that now. I've had a massively busy (with non-gaming stuff) week.