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T4 - Marc Miller's Traveller Discussion of T4 - Marc Miller's Traveller from Imperium Games and the Milieu 0 setting.

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Old October 9th, 2018, 11:46 AM
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If you do decide to use Grandfather's Ancients, the PCs must somehow be led to an out-of-the-way corner where "nothing can possibly be over there, all the action is over here!" They find a handful of some item that combines two normal gadgets (such as the armored vacc suits from Secret of the Ancients chapter 1). The "normal gadgets" should be mid-tech level for your campaign, not super items. Perhaps a grav module that also chills whatever cargo is placed upon it, if this base is on the 'hot side' of a Mercury-like planet?*

They also find something that looks like Droyne made it - but if the PCs haven't met a Droyne yet, they won't recognize the style**. If the cool tech items are designed for a Droyne hand / fingers to manipulate the controls, that would handle both needs simultaneously.

* Tenser's Climate-Controlled Floating Disk is the D&D version

** 200 years later, some researcher who has heard of Droyne will find the PCs' Mission Report and SHE will figure out 2 + 2 = 4
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  #12  
Old October 9th, 2018, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whipsnade View Post
First, in Imperial Year 0 nobody knows anything about the Ancients. People know about many archeological sites with technological remains on many worlds which far predate the Vilani invention of jump. While the dates of those sites varies greatly, there seems to a common date for some of the heavily damaged ones. Some scholars are starting to speculate that the sites dating from roughly -300,000 years ago might be linked in some manner. Other scholars refute that idea by pointing to the wildly divergent technological remains found at those sites.

All anyone knows in Mileau:0 is that there are plenty of ancient sites around. Nobody in Mileau:0, however, even suspects that there were Ancients.
Note also that in Milieu:0, the Droyne are not necessarily even recognized as a single star-spanning race, let alone a Major Race. Individual Droyne and Chirper worlds are initially seen as independent minor races on various worlds. It took some time for IISS data to be collated to realize that many of these "local minor races" were actually a single species, and even longer to recognize thru archaeology that at least some Droyne colonies had been using Jump Drive since at least the year -70,000.

In Milieu:0, one of the most popular theories was the Archon Thesis.
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Old October 9th, 2018, 05:37 PM
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Want to subvert the Ancients' theme?

Have the Ancients return.
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Old October 9th, 2018, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whipsnade View Post
The best way to use the Ancients is not to use the Ancients. . . . . . . . . . . . .
I tend to agree with Whipsnade with respect to using the Ancients. Your players are going to have information about them that did not exist in Milieu Zero. What would be more interesting is having them find evidence for humans on the planet and let them try to figure it out.
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Old October 10th, 2018, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dray View Post
Want to subvert the Ancients' theme?

Have the Ancients return.
Or better yet, have them seem to return. Things happen, equipment is interfered with, items are turned on but get broken, power drains, things that should not be just are. Then one of them starts having hallucinations, then the midshipman in the red vacc suit has a seal failure...

Maybe the resolution to the whole adventure is simply getting out of the rock ball alive, before It comes for them again, and not about discovering what Ancients device, item or personality is doing all of that.
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Old October 10th, 2018, 03:32 PM
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"What would you find at an Ancient site?"

Traveller players.
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Old October 11th, 2018, 04:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dray View Post
"What would you find at an Ancient site?"

Traveller players.
"You have a +2DM for Computer skill, roll to deactivate the stasis field."
"Twelve."
"Ok, it deactivates. From inside the stasis chamber, you hear voices and the sound of rolling dice."
"Who is in there and what are they saying?"

"There is a group of five humans around a table covered in papers, wearing extremely archaic Solmani clothing. The one at the head of the table says in an almost incomprehensible ancient dialect of Galanglic, 'You have a +2 DM for Computer skill, roll to deactivate the stasis field'."
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Old October 11th, 2018, 11:45 AM
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After that, I want to find a smilie for "makes my head explode" that is not based off the "rant" smilie.
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Old October 11th, 2018, 11:46 AM
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"I think they're older than the Ancients themselves!"
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Old October 11th, 2018, 11:49 AM
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Default I'm not sure that's what I meant, exactly...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dray View Post
"What would you find at an Ancient site?"

Traveller players.
Hmmm...perhaps I should rephrase the question.

(And forgive me if this post gets a little long. I'm 'kinda working through my ideas on paper as I go.)

First of all, thank you all for your suggestions. I was looking for inspiration, and I think I found some. Now I've got a couple of hard questions about where I could take this story to the "next level." I'd appreciate any suggestions anyone might have.

Here's what I got so far. (And, if you're interested, why.)

The players jump into the Kan system and detect an automated distress signal coming from a ship in orbit around the "planet." (FYI, I will probably make Kan a moon of one of the gas giants.)

As they approach the ship, suddenly all the lights go out, and emergency back-up lights all come on. They're safely in orbit, so this isn't an immediate concern. However, upon investigation they discover their power plant is no longer functioning. And they can't seem to get the fusion reaction started again. They're safe for now. But it is only a matter of time before they run out of air, food, water, etc.

What's going on: Story-wise, this planet is, in fact, an Ancient site. (Although, whulorigan, thank you for mentioning the Archon Thesis. I'm all for blaming them.) This planet was hit with a torpedo that destroyed any base that might have been here. And that torpedo was buried deep within the planet, until the miners unearthed it centuries ago. This was anticipated by the side that built the torpedo. Upon being unearthed, it is programmed to produce a field, unknown to modern-day science, but similar to a nuclear damper. However, instead of causing nuclear fission to fail, it causes nuclear fusion to fail. So, over the centuries, ship after ship have been marooned here, unable to get their engines started again -- their crews asphyxiating, and their ships eventually crashing to the surface as their orbits decay. By now the players will be able to detect the dozens of impact sites, and the accompanying debris, from these shipwrecks on the surface of the moon.

What's going on: Plot-wise, this is the first rule of suspense -- isolation. Stick your protagonists somewhere they can't readily escape, thus forcing them to have to deal with the situation.

So, in the end, our intrepid heroes are forced to find a way to the planet's surface, and explore the spooky mine, littered with the slowly decaying remains of those who have come before them. They eventually find the torpedo. And since they probably can't figure out the advanced technology, they will just have to blow it up using demolition charges they either bring with them, or scavenge from the mine.

Now here's where I'm "stuck." What happens next? To quote my hero Rango, "People, I’ve had an epiphany! The hero cannot exist in a vacuum! What our story needs is an ironic, unexpected event, that will propel the hero into conflict."

At this point I would like to have a rousing, exciting finale. And I agree with Rango, the best way to do that is through conflict. Obviously the first thing that came to mind is the little round nodules that litter the place, suddenly pop open, and little robot spiders attack our heroes as they fight their way back to the surface. But Whipsnade is right...it's been done.

In both the book and the movie Sphere, there is more of an esoteric "conflict" as the remaining crew try to evacuate their habitat, but are stymied as reality continues to shift, never allowing them to escape. But something like this I believe is a little too undefinable. How would the characters go about overcoming this?

So here's the crux...how can we have an exciting ending, with a situation that will challenge our heroes, but they have a decent chance of overcoming?

By the way, I'm planning this a couple of games in advance, so I have time to think about it. And I'm not married to any of these ideas. If anyone has another inspiring idea, I'd certainly like to hear it.

Oh...and since GypsyComet mentioned there is something of a contradiction between the UWP data in the First Survey book, and the Traveller map on-line, about whether this place should be labeled an Ancient site, or not...that has inspired me to have the torpedo start a countdown, which explodes, destroying the moon, just as our heroes make good their escape. Ergo, no more Ancient site, so the Imperium will just have to build another base somewhere else in the system at a later date. Problem solved. To Far Future Enterprises...you're welcome.

Last edited by ManOfGrey; October 11th, 2018 at 03:18 PM..
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