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Old July 13th, 2012, 03:03 AM
the.barwickian the.barwickian is offline
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Default Issues with The Traveller Adventure (spoilers)

I'm once again contemplating running a campaign with The Traveller Adventure. I'm forming a group of players who've never played Trav before (so it's this or the other classic - the Ancients saga).

The thing is, It's very much a flawed gem as far as I'm concerned. Its scope is great, its overall story arc is a superb introduction to the classic Traveller setting, there are flashes of inspiration in its blend of linear and sandbox - especially considering its age.

With Mongoose's re-release. maybe it's a good time to discuss ways to really improve the flow of the campaign.

This thread is to discuss the flaws and how to resolve them, avoid them or work around them. Others may have better solutions than I, or flag up issues I hadn't considered.

Spoiler:
1) Gvoudzon

Issue: He's crucial to the campaign, but his ties to the other PCs are far too weak. I think this is the single biggest issue with the campaign, and if it isn't handled well, it can become a game-breaker.

What The Traveller Adventure requires: A long-established ship crew, on their leave, encounter Gvoudzon getting mugged. They're supposed to save him. Then they're supposed to help him break into the museum to retrieve his brooch.

Issue: I can buy them intervening in the mugging to help him. But to go from there to breaking and entering is too big a jump, especially when their ship is in drydock. The only reason is "because he's a PC", which I find very unsatisfying.

Solution 1: Make Gvoudzon a recurring NPC. If they don't help him, he'll get the brooch without their help, and they will encounter him again in other systems. Eventually, they'll get to the stage where they realise his importance. He can always become a PC later on.

Solution 2: Up the stakes. The Vemene target the crew just because they helped Gvoudzon. They believe he gave them the brooch and they keep asking for it. It could even reach the stage where the Vemene kidnap a crew member and demand the brooch as ransom - or steal the rug from the March Harrier's lounge (it really tied the ship together). Issues with this? Total railroading.

Solution 3: Big up the vargr. Make it clear to the crew PCs that the real money to be made in the Aramis hinterlands is in trade with the vargr (it isn't; we'll have to fudge that later), but they're alien. To access the vargr trade, they'll need an insider. If Gvoudzon is to be a PC, his player has to be briefed as well - he needs negotiating power to persuade the other PCs to do the break-in (in the published adventure he's much more of a supplicant). To some extent, this is the implied solution in The Traveller Adventure, but little thought is given on how to do it.

2) The brooch

The issue: using magnetism to hide coded data? Bring in Chloe.

Solution: Choose the handwavium of your choice. I think I'll go with illegal, experimental nanotech. In 30 years' real time, that may seem horribly outdated too.
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Last edited by aramis; July 24th, 2012 at 01:05 PM.. Reason: adding [sblock][/sblock] tags
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