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Old December 28th, 2017, 08:51 PM
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Default OjnoTheRed's Leviathan SOLO campaign

I'm sharing this at timerover51's request on the Jump Drive TL's thread. I've typed up quite a lot as my game has gone on, so I'll just post how I got started for now and post more detail as time goes on.

Firstly, these are the resources I am using:
  1. Cepheus Engine SRD (well, duh)
  2. SOLO campaigns for the Cepheus Engine
  3. Classic Traveller Adventure 4: Leviathan
  4. 1,000,001 characters for the Cepheus Engine (link in my signature)
  5. World Map Generator for T5 (link in my signature)
  6. Location Crafter (DriveThruRPG Link)

I'll just say here I highly recommend the Location Crafter as a way of abstracting mapping down to three lists: encounters, places and objects as part of making one's way through a particular location. It's $3 on DriveThruRPG.

Attached is my conversion of the Leviathan to the Cepheus Engine. The various workshops are included at MCr1 per ton indicating fully equipped advanced tools. Also included are the Ship's Boat and Shuttle designs using the Cepheus Engine, an example encounter table using the Location Crafter, and a utility I developed for quickly determining in-system travel times. I have found that in-system travel times are far from trivial; journeying to a gas giant for refuelling can be a matter of 4 or 5 days.

I assumed the adventure started at Berengaria / Spinward Marches and started calculating dates from 001-1107 as indicated in the published adventure. The first step was 'hiring on'.

I went a bit overboard. I looked through the 'minimum skill requirements' for the positions, and then used the character generator in my link to generate a mix of 500 characters with a mix of careers that would bring up the desired skill mix. So I had 'Bureaucrat' as well as the space careers and some military and army types for a mix of Admin, Computer, spaceship relevant, Merchant and combat skills. I then trawled my way through the downloaded text file to select the crew.

I selected six of the senior crew as my PCs for the campaign; the remaining characters have names, a stat line and a career history but I have not developed them. Here are the PCs:

Master - Captain
Captain Kuga Parikh (Female Human) B47AC7 Age 38
Navy(5) Cr20000
Admin-0 Advocate-1 Carousing-0 Comms-2 Engineering-0 Gravitics-1 Jack o' Trades-2 Leadership-2 Life Sciences-0 Natural Weapons-1 Slug Rifle-0 Social Sciences-0 Tactics-1 Turret Weapons-0 Wheeled Vehicle-1 Zero-G-1
High Passage(x4), Annual Pension from the Navy: Cr10000

Executive Officer - 1st Officer
Supervisor Phan-li Moa (Female Human) 4897C7 Age 38
Bureaucrat(5) Cr70000
Admin-2 Bribery-0 Carousing-1 Computer-1 Electronics-0 Engineering-0 Leadership-0 Liaison-1 Medicine-1 Space Sciences-0 Tracked Vehicle-1 Wheeled Vehicle-0
Mid Passage(x2), Annual Pension from the Bureaucracy: Cr10000

Pilot - 1st Officer
Third Officer Sarah Evans (Female Human) 87B482 Age 26
Merchant(2) Cr-4000
Pilot-2 Medicine-2 Steward-1 Navigation-1 Comms-1 Shotgun-0 Streetwise-0 Broker-0 Engineering-0 Slashing Weapons-0 Broker-0 Grav Vehicle-0

Chief Engineer - 1st Officer
Second Officer Rumon Ghoshal (Male Human) 88AA98 Age 34
Merchant(4) Cr70000
Advocate-1 Broker-0 Comms-2 Engineering-2 Linguistics-0 Medicine-1 Natural Weapons-0 Piloting-1 Slug Rifle-0 Space Sciences-1 Steward-2 Veterinary Medicine-0 Wheeled Vehicle-0
High Passage(x2), Ship Shares

Chief Gunner - 1st Officer
Lt Commander Vasudev Zamindar (Male Human) 625C59 Age 36
Merchant(1), Navy(3) Cr0
Broker-0 Comms-0 Computer-0 Engineering-1 Grav Vehicle-1 Leadership-1 Natural Weapons-0 Navigation-2 Slashing Weapons-1 Slug Pistol-0 Social Sciences-0 Steward-1 Tactics-1 Turret Weapons-2 Wheeled Vehicle-0 Zero-G-1

Computer Officer - 2nd Officer
Crewman Dilip Peae (Male Human) 78C989 Age 40
Bureaucrat(2), Drifter(1), Drifter(1), Merchant(0) Cr56000
Admin-2 Bribery-0 Carousing-0 Computer-2 Electronics-1 Engineering-1 Leadership-0 Medicine-1 Riding-0 Space Sciences-0 Steward-1 Streetwise-1 Tracked Vehicle-0 Wheeled Vehicle-1
Shotgun

I then rolled for life events using the SOLO rules; or selected them from the character history (the character generator outputs a full blow-by-blow for each term including survival mishaps, career changes and skills gained each term). More on that in another post. I'll just say here that for 'existing relationships' I rolled randomly between the PCs and discovered that the Exec and Captain are former lovers, and the Chief Engineer and Chief Gunner are current lovers. Interesting. There were some dark secrets added too.

Enough for now, I will post more detail about what I discovered about the rest of the crew and PC relationships. Then the 'crew shakedown' cruise.
Attached Files
File Type: zip Leviathan SOLO campaign ship files.zip (52.5 KB, 21 views)
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Old December 29th, 2017, 03:07 AM
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Default Life Events and relationships - Kuga Parikh (captain of the Leviathan)

Before we get to the events of the campaign, SOLO suggests we establish some backstory.

Starting with our Captain Kuga Parikh. I rolled 3 life events and a relationship with another PC:

Life Events:
1. Had to create a new life event for herself
2. Was betrayed by a close friend. Today you are deadly enemies. Motivation for applying for job, perhaps?
3. Should have stood up to a powerful figure. Always regret not doing so.

Relationship:
Divorced due to past incident from Phan-li Moa (Executive Officer): previously married to Phan-li as young women, Phan-li stayed on her homeworld as a bureaucrat while Kuga joined the Navy against Phan-li's wishes. They divorced as a result. Their relationship is cordial but strictly professional now, although who knows when tensions will come to the surface, especially as Kuga has to rely on Phan-li as XO?

I then got creative with the Life Events:
A native of Regina, Kuga spent 20 years in the Imperial Navy and rose steadily to the rank of Captain. She was inspired to join the Navy as the Fourth Frontier War happened in her early teenage years and left an impression on her of the Zhodani threat, especially as the final battle of the war happened in her home system.

She is a very able-minded and highly well-read person. She quickly showed a willingness to learn how to lead people and operate communications and sensors as she focused her time on the Bridge. In rising to Lt Commander she received her first significant command - a Gazelle class Close Escort Antelope. Her competent leadership saw her promoted to Commander and given command of a Chrysanthemum class Destroyer Escort the Carinatum, before graduating to commanding a Light Cruiser.

She walked away from the Imperial Navy when a close friend who had been her equal for many years was promoted ahead of her and subsequently made some very bad calls. In particular this admiral did not send aid when requested in-system when fighting pirates, instead sending valuable fleet resources to what had been established as a decoy. Further, Kuga regrets her own actions, letting subordinates take their support craft to support the Admiral's orders instead of using her Captain's authority to keep them where they could have helped her beleaguered ship. This led to heavy damage to Kuga's ship and the loss of many of her crew. Kuga has never forgiven her friend for that, nor forgiven herself.
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Old December 29th, 2017, 03:22 AM
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Default Life Events and relationships - Vasudev Zaminder (Chief Gunner - 1st Officer)

Vasudev has been a mercurial character in this drama, and I have added to this background after two repeated bad reactions. However, he made a name for himself in a later episode as chief gunner, winning over the crew.

Relationship:
Phan-li but feuding or cold.

Life Events:
As a young Merchant recruit, Zaminder pried through a High Passenger's belongings and was caught, which saw him sacked on the spot. However, he took a copy of some encrypted data from one of his mark's devices, and his intelligence found a compromising secret about this passenger. As he was young, the Captain gave him an honourable discharge. He straightened his ways and attempted to enlist in the Navy. But he was refused, blacklisted because someone who knew the passenger and knew of the pilfering made sure the Navy recruiting office knew (Phan Li). He was then drafted into the subsector Navy, which barred him from a Commission for 4 years. The next term, however, his intelligence shone through and he was promoted to Lieutenant. After an additional term, he advanced to the rank of Lt Commander, serving as a gunnery chief before deciding to apply for the Leviathan.
Profited from a dirty secret and owe any promotion or money to that secret: he still has the data on a personal advice; from his perspective they are a mysterious series of encrypted files. They contain financial records that would prove the business dealings of that particular high passenger were fraudulent. The megacorporation employing that passenger would pay a lot for them.
Realized your parents hate you. Why? Parents wanted him to make a name for himself in military service, but he wanted to join the Merchants. They were emotionally abusive to him as a child and growing up, although as with many emotionally but not physically abused children, he internalised it and did not realise it was abusive. He internalised some bad habits, including leading to the thieving. Phan-li is a cousin and along with the rest of the family, adopted the habit of putting him down in public. Moderate success in the Navy helped him grow up, and he resigned to take the Leviathan opportunity.
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Old December 29th, 2017, 05:02 AM
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Default Life Events and relationships - Phan-li Moa (Executive Officer - 1st Officer)

I am now wondering if Phan-li was appointed to make sure the crew did everything in their power to keep Kuga safe.

Life Events
1. Suffered amnesia. Something bad happened to you but your memories are vague. Not used - imagination ran dry.
2. Carried out a secret task for your bosses but you were rewarded.
3. Made an enemy. It's your fault. You shouldn't have ... ?

Relationships
Share a secret past incident - Zaminder

Knows about Zaminder's incident with a high passenger.

Phan-li was tasked with tracking that particular passenger - Russell Fowler - for fraud. She still wonders what happened to the copy of the data and suspects Zaminder still has it (correctly). Zaminder has no idea she was involved in the incident and only regards her as a relation who reminds him of how inadequate he is.

The data would have been the nail in the coffin for Russel Fowler. He was convicted of much less than he was guilty, and so his connections meant he escaped a heavy penal sentence, instead servicing out 1 year of 'house arrest' in his luxurious estate. He is now a major enemy of Phan Li vowing revenge for his humiliation. He has connections to Arkesh Spacers. However, the data that Zaminder has would lead to a greater conviction, one which his connections would be unwilling to quash given the depth of his fraud.

Phan-li was rewarded with a substantial bonus for her administrative investigative work.
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Old December 29th, 2017, 05:07 AM
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Default Life Events and relationships - Sarah Evans (Pilot - 1st Officer)

Evans has been in the background a bit as I couldn't really flesh out her story any more. Rather bland Pilot figure.

Life Events:
1. Fled your homeworld - devastated by plague, war, famine or asteroid strike.
2. A terrible crime was committed against you. It haunts you still.
3. Learnt something you shouldn’t know – you fled for your own safety.

Combine naturally: homeworld devastated by war - Hi Pop balkanized world - Ruie? Fled when family was murdered by enemy troops in front of her. While hiding, overheard the soldiers talk about ... ? Something that made her even more scared than watching her family murdered. Scraped by as a homeless war orphan until signed on to a Free Trader and spent 8 years with them before applying for the Leviathan job. Trauma explains the lower intelligence score.

Relationship:
Rumon Ghoshal (Chief Engineer) Old (and these days ex-friend) etc.
Ignored. Connections are too much like Days of Our Lives. I don't mind a little soap opera in my space opera, but, sheesh. Known Space is pretty big. Lone war orphan narrative doesn't fit a connection.
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Last edited by OjnoTheRed; December 29th, 2017 at 05:21 AM..
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Old December 29th, 2017, 05:20 AM
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Default Life Events and relationships - Rumon Ghoshal (Chief Engineer - 1st Officer)

Because he served 4 terms in the Merchants and then signed-on, I ruled that he was a career merchant in the Barraci Technum. Was about to sign off after 4 terms to try something else, but interviewed successfully for Chief Engineer's job for Leviathan.

Life Events.
1. Fell in love with a professional rival. The affair flips between passion and rivalry.
2. Realized your parents hate you. Why?
3. Were forced to take part in an immoral mission or duty. Your actions still haunt you.

Relationship:
Vasudev Zamindar (Chief Gunner) - Married Couple - Rumon Ghoshal.

Is Vasudev a rival and they are also married? Would make for an interesting stormy relationship. Nah - doesn't marry up with their respective histories. Let's say the marriage is a recent thing, a whirlwind romance as they met each other through the sign-on process. (Yes - Everyone Is Gay as the YouTube clip says). It would make sense that two men who realised their parents hated them would connect with each other - but that is as far as I really got with Rumon.

I still haven't decided on Life Event 3.
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Old December 29th, 2017, 05:43 AM
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Default First Event: Shakedown Cruise

Dates: 001-1107 to 028-1107
Location: Berengaria / 0505 Pax Rulin

All crew positions filled although some compromises made.

Hiring lead by the Kuga Parikh with help from relevant first officers for positions they will supervise. Barraci Technum has inserted two known operatives - Jyoti MacDonald (Purser) Abram Khanna (Navigator) and two unknown operatives Jonathan Jain (Master at Arms) and Manassah Taylor (Computer Operator). Note that all crew have stats generated but I am not bothering to post them here unless everyone really wants them. It's just output from the Cepheus Engine character generator.

Rolled "Tell me, D6" for results on hiring: "bad stuff happens but not yet catastrophic" is the result. Reading the adventure module for inspiration, I decided that there are 2 concealed Arkesh Spacers operatives: Rachel Posokaa (Galley Hand) and Florence Ghosh (Steward). They don't know each other but each are aware they are not the only operative. Their brief: observe and report back on key contacts, look for opportunities to sabotage mission, especially by giving away ship position to Arkesh Spacer forces, e.g. on the ground when ship is in port.

Say two weeks for hiring on. At the time I had just been on 3 selection panels for new teaching staff at our school and I know it's slow, grinding work.

Two weeks crew shake down - initial patrolling and testing around system.

The plan: go out to gas giant, practice wilderness refueling and return. Schedule of drills and tests. Foolproof, Safe. DM+1 for extensive crew with multiple skills and assets. Rolled 7+1=8, plan succeeds. Avoid bad consequence (roll 10+1=11), but the good consequence is "tracks covered, no evidence left behind" which makes no sense so I ignore it.

Flight out to Gas Giant "Mugriatis" to trial refueling: distance between 2.4 AU (closest approach) and 8.0 AU (farthest possible). Present distance - about halfway between (random roll) - or 5.2 AU away.

3 day journey to Mugriatis. 2 days bed down shifts - roster familiarisation, ship familiarisation and routine operations. Briefings in cargo bay - all crew (2nd pilot and 2nd Engineer on duty listen in). Tone set.

Crew reaction? "Tell me, D6" said "all OK for now" for crew shakedown, so assuming everything went well.

Crew (apart from secret operatives) all eager for this assignment, listening attentively to Captain, general discipline good, perhaps only minor problems.

Day 3 drills: transfer from routine to battle stations and to evacuation. No real pressure, but more reassurance that everyone understands their stations.

Days 4-5 - refueling operations; completely refill tanks would take 15D hours - or 46 hours rolled. This would be able to be refined by shunting incoming raw gasses into holding tanks for the purifiers. Thus, 2 days completes refueling. Routine operations.

Days 6-9 - travel back to Berengaria - rest day as far as possible - quiet shifts, down time encouraged.

Day 7 - battle stations drills. Target practice, gunnery operations assessed. Kuga as Master notices Phan-li talking down to Vasudev a lot, constantly needling him (see Bad Reaction below). Chides Phan-li privately who bristles slightly but remains professional.

Day 9 - final travel day back - battle station drills continue, including launching craft.

Days 10-14 (23-1107 to 28-1107) - further drills and tests with supplies ferried up from Berengaria as shakedown reveals needs and odds and ends.

Incident occurs (see Bad Reaction below). Captain notices that gunnery crews slow to respond to Chief Gunner, catches signs of disrespect. She holds this information for now, thinking about how to raise this with him later. Wonders if it is linked to Phan-li's disrespect earlier.

Leave is rotated, with officers and crew getting 2 days' leave. One rumour for the PCs with Rumon Ghoshal (Chief Engineer) leading - mainly hanging around bars where fellow merchant crews hang around. Taking Vasudev with him (naturally).

They got talking to an old Marine. Rumour L. This retired marine (age 50, 674899) can provide general information about Ashley's Rock (0801 D100120-5 Ni) from the time he was part of a small occupation force during the Fourth Frontier War some twenty years ago. Naturally the information is a bit vague and conditions on the planet may have changed. He remembers underground warrens and constant town hall meetings on this small rock with low gravity.

The route plan: Bantrel at 0306 Pax Rulin; scout and refuel, check systems after first jump. Check out Amber Zone cautiously.

THEN -> 0805 Egryn (unknown); 0505, 0306, 0507, 0508, 0808, 0805, back to Bantrel and Berengaria. Ignoring Ashley's Rock, sounds boring.

Bad Reaction: checked weekly, and avoided a Bad Reaction until ...

Bad Reaction Week 4 - 2nd week of crew shake-down (in system). PC: Vasudev Zamindar. Bad Reaction: The PC is overcome by guilt, fear loneliness, remorse or simply retreats to a regular addiction.

Shipping out on a Merchant ship brings up memories of his crime. Constant taunts from Phan-li Moa who, like his parents, thought he was a disappointment to the family, do not help. Retreats to his stateroom to zone out on video games and relatively mild sedatives. Misses a lot of work. Loses the respect of the gunnery team.

028-1107 - jump outsystem to Bantrel

OK, this is mostly story telling but looking up the various mechanics to play this out helped me get used to how SOLO is played. I also settled on some conventions for myself for time-keeping and game play.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 08:13 AM
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Default Event 2: Jump to Bantrel System (0306 Pax Rulin)

014-1107 to 021-1107 - in Jump
Rolled a 9 to avoid a bad reaction during jump.

Rumon new marriage and affection for Vasudev and becomes somewhat of a buffer to Phan-li. Rumon and Vasudev relay what the Marine told them about Ashley's Rock to Kuga. It confirms her decision to concentrate in the rimward part of the subsector on the projected 6-month cruise. Ashley's Rock sounds like it lacks opportunities.

Kuga runs through jump exit preparation: procedure will be immediate scan of surroundings, all crews at battle stations.

021-1107: Arrive at Bantral - see next post for brief notes on the Bantrel System.

No Space encounter (rolled using Leviathan Adventure rules rather than Solo).

Landing is routine. Nothing out of the ordinary happens at the Starport (rolled for Starport Encounters for a random PC using Solo table). Encounter a neutral maintenance crew.

Crew given one-week leave.

Abram (2nd Pilot) wanders into Scout Base to check out rumours and check-in as an ex-Scout. Lets Captain Kuga know through Sarah (1st Pilot).

Rumour found: The complement of scout boats at Bantral / Pax Rulin scout base has been increased due to interest by the IGS in certain phenomena in the Outrim. The Eshraani Protostar - 0810 Ergryn Subsector / 1610 Spinward Marches gas cloud has exhibited unusual activity - and scout vessels are being sent to investigate. Having purchased Referee's Briefing: Anomalies and Wonders, I threw this into the mix; may not be used but we'll see. May as well use source books I've read!

Refueling, including refining, routine. Routine inquiries about nature of trade off-planet, but nothing spectacular added to general knowledge of politics of subsector.

Jump out of system 028-1107 bound for 0805 Egryn and first 'mystery' stop.

Ruled that although the next stop is to a star system with no details listed on the charts, the starship can take reasonable measurements through sensors to determine the jump plot including choosing to go to the inner system, and locating the main world. TL8 doppler telescopes can spot exoplanets in the present day, so I figure TL13 sensors can do way better.

I will now be reading each 'mystery' entry in the Egyrn subsector as the ship jumps in, do a bit of world-building from the notes in the adventure, and make up something from there. I'm up to Event 7 in my notes, so several more episodes are due.

Trust me, things are going to get much more interest next episode. In fact, I'll start calling them "Episodes" rather than events.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 08:29 AM
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Default PLACE: Bantrel System 0306 Pax Rulin / 1906 Trojan Reach

Travellermap.com data in T5 format:
Bantrel 0306 Pax Rulin / 1906 Trojan Reach C886589-9 Ag Ni Ga Pr {0} (A44+1) [656A] PBG=503 Worlds=8 F5 V Scout Base

Some information at http://wiki.travellerrpg.com/Bantral_(world)

I generated a map, changing the seed a couple of times until I got what I liked. Direct link to map.

My notes - inferring things from the adventure and UWP data and got some ideas from other places but forget where:
Government by Civil Service Bureaucracy. Bantral has high agricultural status and trade connections to both the Foederate and the Imperium.

Amber Zone due to the clashing trade connections; a warning is advised about dealing with Senlis Foederate ships and visiting crews who can be antagonistic towards Imperial ships. Bantral produces a variety of high quality agricultural products that are in demand, and local tech level, although not high on an interstellar scale, enables extremely efficient practices supported by fusion power. The world relies on imported technology but keeps it at TL9 to enable easy maintenance.

The Scout Base is a forward installation that keeps an eye on developments with the Senlis Foederate and whose reports are largely responsible for the Amber Zone classification.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 08:34 AM
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Default A note on my record-keeping conventions

I am using Evernote to organise my SOLO play. It is similar to Microsoft's One Note.

Each PC and each NPC including the crew have one note each. Apart from stats, I note there the 'bad reaction' rolls and any other event that has happened to that character including dates.

The ship and each ship's vehicle has a note, and so do ships encountered.

Each Place (i.e. planetary system) has a note. I dump the stats, notes from the Adventure, my thoughts, a generated map in there.

Most importantly, each Event (now Episode) also has a note, which I am transcribing here.

So there are:
  • PCs
  • Crew and other NPCs
  • Places
  • Ships
  • Events
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