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Old March 21st, 2020, 10:00 PM
gregcaires gregcaires is offline
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Default After Gaming Report – Classic Traveller: Duneraiders, played 21 March 2020

After Action Report – Classic Traveller play 21 March 2020

Dear Fellow Travellers:

Thanks for your help and input in the lead up to running this game from 1800 miles away.

Used Zoom to teleplay with my kids (boy 16, girl 14). Their first Traveller; first tabletop RPG. Using Zoom I could share my screen to show them images I had imported into PowerPoint and rulebook pdf as necessary. Not as smooth as my usual presentations at CONs but it worked for Theater of the Mind.

Mini-gamed CHARGEN: Awarded the kids EDU & SOC A (courtesy of their wealthy and eccentric father – IRL and IMTU) . Made them fraternal twins so they are the same age. They rolled for the rest with a bias toward INT to help their careers. Based on their upper-class background, they were awarded Blade-1 (foil) and Zero G and Vacc Suit-1 based on numerous family vacations into low planetary orbit and beyond.

Daughter wanted to be a medical doctor so we used JTAS #22 (Imperial Academy of Science & Medicine). Pretty sure 1980s desktop publishing limitations caused key text / tables to drop, so had to do some hand waving/on the fly home-brewing. Daughter wanted to be a surgeon. SOC got her in but she didn’t do very well in undergrad college. Became an ophthalmic surgeon. Then did a few terms accumulating some good skills.

Son was a great train wreck to watch. INT/EDU/SOC A and STR B, but rejected by the Navy, the Marines, and the Scouts. Decides to trade on his STR and SOC by becoming a Noble (SUPP 4: Citizens of the Imperium. 18-year-old horse-holding entourage member. First skill awarded is BRIBERY! After a few terms he gets KNIGHTED! A few more and he’s a BARON!!

At age 38, they get a message from wealthy and eccentric adventurer Dad; quit your jobs and join the family “business” as Travellers, which they do. I used a 1 Page Dungeon (Here Kitty Kitty) to help them get used to playing the game and understanding the game mechanics of skills, rolls, DMs, etc. Son had to rescue a cat from a tree with assorted hazards; daughter watched and laughed at him. Should have made the cat a juvenal Aslan: “take your hands off my offspring” said the Ambassador.

The main event: DUNERAIDERS! A classic. Never played it before, and even with rushed preparation I think I hit the high points. SPOILER ALERTS follow.

Wealthy, eccentric dad tells them to go to Tashrakaar and gives them money and passages to get there (a few weeks away from home world). Go find Gill Jeric and help him; our family are investors in his wildcat mining operation. The arrive, scare away his attackers, yada yada. They go out on the last Orecrawler to learn the business, protect the investment and solve the mystery. [NOTE: is there a 3rd map not included in the standard pdf (like the Orecrawler deck plans, which I understand were tucked inside the booklet and had to track down separately). Specifically, a map showing more detail south in the desert where Chargas Canyon is. The book has the planetary map and a map of the starport to the northern edge of the desert. Anyone, anyone? Bueller, Bueller?

Ok so now on the Orecrawler – kids head out with the crew and fight off an attacking Orecrawler. Water tank hit, limiting time in the desert. They both (using their Grav Vehicle skill) fly some air/rafts around, have a little scare with one air/raft engine dying. After resuming air operations, they locate Jericorps’ long lost Orecrawler and the note saying to look in Chargas canyon. They then find a nodule field, vector their Orecrawler to it, and start collecting ore. One of the various Duneraiders tribes show up and the Baron big-deals them into accepting an offer to provide protection while he mine’s ore. They fill up and head home feeling good about the haul. In the canyon pass they get boarded by bad guys, waking them from dead sleeps. They go on offensive – the 14-year-old girl calls her shot: slashing the jugular vein of a hijacker with her foil! Damn, hardcore for a Day One murder hobo! Gunplay, sword fighting, fisticuffs ensue. They split up; daughter winds up getting caught on top of Orecrawler by bad guys in air/raft, forcing brother to surrender after capturing a bunch of bad guys with help of his Orecrawler crew.

Faced with needing to kill a Baron, the bad guys decide to take him and his sister deep into the desert and abandoning them to their fate. The twins spend a few nights travelling south to the mountains as they were a closer option than heading north through the desert back to base. Few animal and desert encounters later, they reunite with the Duneraiders tribe they had previously met. Because the Baron’s Orecrawler was attacked while under the tribe’s protection (albeit in the canyon pass where their control notionally ends), the Duneraiders take the twins to Chargas Canyon to show them the motherlode of platinum and iridium, pledging to protect it for Jericorps’ benefit.

Just then, two bad guy Orecrawlers show up, laser blasting the tribesmen. Riding local beasts of burden, they cavalry charge one Orecrawler intending to board and hijack it. The twins and several tribesmen get aboard, subdue some bad guys, take over the laser turrets and begin blasting the other enemy Orecrawler. A few lucky shots (rolls) and the opposing Orecrawler’s laser turrets are history, soon followed by its treads and axle. Dead in the water, the good guys then try to take the flying bridge of the enemy Orecrawler they are inhabiting. Some SMG fire down the iris value dissuades them. They fail to disable the Orecrawler from the control room, so they use explosives well placed via air/raft (daughter’s surgeon hands ensure her station-keeping) while Baron son set the charges underneath the flying bridge. An outstanding roll ensures a whole big enough to blast open the bottom and the two bad guys fall out (alive and stunned) of the flying bridge to atop the control room, where they are apprehended.

All’s well that ends well. The twins have secured Jericorps’ financial future, defeated the bad guys, and now have the wealth to hire the muscle and buy the local politicians to protect their mining operation and interests from the dastardly overtures of Sternmetal. Game over; five hour run time; good time had by all.

Duneraiders is an excellent adventure despite how the challenging 1980s desktop publishing layout makes it difficult to ensure smooth flow (lots of page flipping back and forth from action to results tables). If you haven’t played it, make time for it – it is worth it, and you will enjoy it.
Duke of Karin (SM 0534) - by the Grace of his Imperial Majesty

Honored wearer of the Starburst for Extreme Heroism with Diamond Clusters for conspicuous gallantry and outstanding performance in the field of excellence at the Battle of Garda-Vilis
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