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In My Traveller Universe Detail what parts of Traveller you do (or don't) use in your campaign.

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Old June 10th, 2015, 02:39 PM
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Default BANG! went the first session

I was really happy and grateful for all the input for my last thread on great beginnings. I wish to thank everyone for giving me some very good ideas and discussion. We had our first rp session last week and the following statement made by everyone, including my wife:

it was fun

tells me it was a success. And I'm happy. Really cool things happened in CHARGEN too. My wife wanted to keep using her character, a scholar (physician)/scout (exploration) in the new campaign. So I ran a solo session when she and the Vargr hacker NPC from Tripwire were picking up supplies in the down port as the far trader was raided by starport authority based on imperial arrest warrants. She ended up getting another scout to smuggle her and Ghakha off planet and on to Denotam, where the scout commander was to decide what should be done.

Then we had chargen. Unfortunately, two players decided they just didn't have the time (we play late because it takes awhile to get my 2 1/2 year old asleep) so we ended up with 3 players total. And also ended up perfect for me as referee, to be perfectly honest.

So, what was the great beginning I was trying to put together? Well one new player wanted to play a scout. So his character had a connection in CHARGEN who just so happened to become the scout helping my wife's character. He also rolled a Type S, so he has to go pick it up and he does his contact a favor by taking my wife's character along to get her and the NPC out-of-sight-out-of-mind for a while.

The second player, without knowing my wife's character's background or problems, wanted to play a discredited scout turned bounty hunter who made an enemy of a crime boss who got him discredited (and got a bounty for turning in his son.) That's cool, a player who comes with a detailed background and knows who his character is! In any case, I sent him a note by email: that an old contact from his scout days thought he'd like to know, for a cut, that there were two fugitives at the base at Denotam and that they may have a pretty good bounty on their heads. He doesn't know that the names I sent him were of my wife and the NPC.

So we come together to play and on the 271st day of 1105 they, with many other passengers, start by going through security to board the Starliner Herzogin Selene. I introduce crew and passengers, describing them, without differentiating between PCs and NPCs. A tip from the other diary. So this is when the bounty hunter PC learns his bounty is another PC but the other players do not know his character is a bounty hunter. He just kinda looked at me for a moment, then shook his head in acknowledgement.

This should be fun. But first...

My laptop and speakers sound-off with a klaxon and I had a red strobe light start. There is a misjump. All the PCs missed their END rolls and puked up. The ship takes serious damage and I won't spoil it as they are in the disaster adventure One Crowded Hour. However, I will say that they pretty much played most of the adventure and I ended it with the ship's computer on the speaker box saying:

Impact in 15 seconds...10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2... ok, that is a good place to stop, we'll pick up there next time.

Oh, how the groans were audible. The players were really into it, role-played, and everyone had fun. I thought the beginning was indeed good and consistent and weaved the characters and their backgrounds together fairly well without having to have them all meet in the starport dive.

Now, I'm rolling ideas around because they are pretty much at the end of the pre-made adventure. I needed to get them to Flammarion to run the Type S adventure. The players thought their eventual destination was Lunion.

I had them mis-jump to Enos in the Sword Worlds for various reasons but I had to add a gas giant there. I hope that doesn't mess up the canon too much regarding the secret base between Enos and Orcrist in the FFW.

They will be stuck there, at the hospitality of the Swordies on Enos (who in MTU I am modeling on South African Boers of the 1960s but without the racist baggage) until the Starliner company/Imperium gets word of where they are and can arrange to bring them to Imperial territory (i.e. Flammarion.) I doubt they would have too many problems as imperials seeing how they were victims of an accident in space. I imagine they would be pretty generous and adhere to the galactic version of the international law of the sea.

I am mulling around what they can do for a few weeks on a low tech desert world. Good ideas from GURPsn Sword Worlds: I'm thinking something with a "seeress" in the wilderness, maybe she disappears, maybe a psionics institute is set up there. There is also an Aesir terrorist organization, that perhaps is involved. I don't know yet but I am not satisfied with any of the pre-made adventure hooks I've seen so far and Gamelords Dune Raiders or FASAs 7 Pillars just don't seem to fit.

But first things first, if they survive, they'll have to deal with their Swordie belter rescuers and the Swordie Patrol Cruiser answering the Signal GK.
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Old June 10th, 2015, 03:44 PM
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Sounds great (no pun intended). I love using things like sound FX (usually ambient sounds) for a more immersive experience.
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Old June 10th, 2015, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
it was fun
you'll always remember it.
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Old June 10th, 2015, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rzg6f View Post
I had them mis-jump to Enos in the Sword Worlds for various reasons but I had to add a gas giant there. I hope that doesn't mess up the canon too much regarding the secret base between Enos and Orcrist in the FFW.
Your adventure session sounds great, wish I'd been there!! Anyway, without wanting to start a flame war about canonicity and whether given any conflict between canon and a great story then which one should have priority, I'd just say that you could have the gas giant be a transient rogue planet that isn't in orbit but just spending a few months or years passing through the outer system, if you don't want it there a few years earlier or later...
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Old June 11th, 2015, 04:59 AM
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It was a blast (no pun intended.) I also like using low volume background music for ambiance. For Traveller, I tend to use my Tangerine Dream playlist and turn it down low, in the background. For this adventure, Rachmaninoff piano concertos, turned-down low and ambient, were playing while the characters were at the cocktail party before the last meal on the luxury liner. It was a bit deft in movement, but I had to switch to the looping klaxon and turn up the volume at the same time.

It certainly shook the players out of their complacency. I had the first twenty minutes or so go slow and allowed it to get a little dull... and then BAM! The players are throwing up and the klaxon and red strobe are going off.

I think that helped. I also didn't let them pause from that point on, trying to think what to do, but kept it going: bad event after bad event and if a player hesitated, I simply said "ok, you're panicked" and moved on to the next player. I wanted to keep them jumpy and panicked so I think that was good technique to use.

My wife said the klaxon was getting on her nerves and I said it was supposed to. So, the sound effects worked. It was only full blast to get their attention and initial shock, then I turned it down to a reasonable background level. But it looped the whole time.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 05:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flykiller View Post
you'll always remember it.
Yes, I think so. I hope the players, too. For the two new players, they've never played Traveller before (mostly Shadowrun and Das Schwarze Auge) so I wanted to give a good Traveller experience. I think they'll remember it
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Old June 11th, 2015, 05:44 AM
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Default @Frankymole

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankymole View Post
Anyway, without wanting to start a flame war about canonicity and whether given any conflict between canon and a great story then which one should have priority, I'd just say that you could have the gas giant be a transient rogue planet that isn't in orbit but just spending a few months or years passing through the outer system, if you don't want it there a few years earlier or later...
Yea, while I do try to stick with the canon, not only because I like the milieu but also that I don't have the time to create a real, independent MTU, I will privilege a good story.

I don't think the players will notice, and that is what is important: universe consistency for the players. My wife doesn't read the background stuff, she just shows up to role-play and the two new players are new to Traveller, this was their first time playing. I think they will more likely than not remember all the near death experiences of their first session rather than if Enos has a gas giant or not.

Nevertheless, I made some very major changes for this campaign. I needed to shrink the sandbox, so to speak, but also allow for some adventures I would like to run. District 268 has some great adventures but I also would like to run some of the FASA stuff (although Cargonaut Press' Faldor looks like a first draft of the FASA stuff and it's right there in 268, one parsec rimward of Enos). My wife's character already has a past relationship with Lorrain Messandi from the Sky Raiders adventures.

So I switched out the astrography of the Urnian and Reidan subsectors with Jungleblut and Taemerlyk from Far Frontiers (while keeping Chamax Plague locations.) Hopefully, running from an Imperial arrest warrant (until it naturally clears itself up, but the players don't need to know that), the characters will settle down in the League of Suns client state and we'll do mostly FASA and home-brew client-state conflicts. It should be something original when the Fifth Frontier War breaks out and the scouts are reactivated - with this set-up, there is lots of opportunity for proxy-war stuff and lot's for scouts to do.

So, our sand box includes Sword Worlds and District 268 on one side and the new Urnian and Reidan on the other. In the middle are Five Sisters and Darrian space (which I didn't touch, so The Protectorate got shrunk and its trailing borders are now right up against the Darrians, which could also be and interesting front in the MTU FFW since they are a Zhodani client state). Lot's of room for Aslan stuff, FFW, FASA, GDW, etc.

The changes had to do with sesson frequency. We play two times a month right now and we alternate with DSA and Traveller. So if I don't want to wave off play in jump space (which I am trying not to do in this campaign) then everything needs to be closer together so that the players can get to the adventure sites in a reasonable amount of time and in-game play. If something happens in jump space and it takes an entire session to play out, then it will be another month of real time before they arrive at destination or make another jump-2 in their Type S.

Otherwise, playing by canon space, I would be waving my hand and saying: "ok, since our last session when you left Bowman, six months have passed and you arrive in the X system"

So I've made some changes but I really like what I did with it and we will see how the players like the setting.
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Old August 14th, 2019, 08:35 PM
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I wonder what happens to people. like rzg6f here - he puts out multiple posts about how well his game went, then goes silent for six months, then stops logging on.

lot of people have dropped out over the years.
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Old August 15th, 2019, 02:18 AM
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I had to make academic progress on my dissertation or risk exmatriculation
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Old August 15th, 2019, 03:49 PM
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(blink) well, welcome back.
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