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  #1  
Old December 16th, 2012, 09:12 PM
Aramais Aramais is offline
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Default Cirque: A Campaign Source for T5

Run away, join the circus, and tour the Spinward Marches! But remember, there's an old Solomani saying about swamps and alligators...
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"It was either the circus or the Imperial Navy for me. Sometimes, I think I'd have done better with the Circus." -- Adm. Aramais P. Lee (Ret.)
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1011-355 (Rhylanor). The Fifth Frontier War has ravaged system after system. The Zhodani have once again been pushed out of Imperial space, but at great cost. The Third Imperium, and particularly the Spinward Marches, can search for a new normal.

What heals war-weary worlds and veterans after devastating battles? How does Lt. Commander Andii Houke create a new life after losing both legs in the battle for Rhylanor?

Can a one-ring circus fill the bill?

With help and connections, Andii refurbishes a salvaged troop carrier and its landing craft. Houke obtains corporate and other backers, signs a multitude of entertainers from different traditions, and prepares a route from Rhylanor to Regina. The re-christened -Cirque- will bring live entertainment to twenty different worlds, and finally to Duke Norris' court, in celebration of life, peace, and an end to strife. Cirque duh Sirka Foundation, LIC, will raise funds and the mood of the Marches.

That's the plan, anyway. There's an old Solomani saying about draining swamps and alligators...

Every planet has its own dangers, its own politics, its own troubles. No matter how hard they try to put on a circus, Cirque's captain, crew, and performers will get dragged into trouble, from liberating their bigamous Comic Juggler to fighting Zhodani sleeper cells. And those are the easy days...

Cirque is a complete campaign resource for T5, timed to come out with or shortly after delivery of T5 to the masses. New referees have adventures set in over twenty systems from Rhylanor to Regina. Experienced referees will have the same systems -- but a new motivation to tour. It's simple: put on the next show. Put it on -- even if you get mixed up in a revolution. Even if the Stanford Torus has sprung a massive leak. Even if the local primary is threatening a massive flare, and you're surrounded by hardened convicts. Even if your distinguished Thespian is nuts, your stage manager pretends he's an undercover cop, your small-animal training act sings Vilani opera, your ship's lawyer is an Aslan with very sharp dewclaws, and you keep noticing Zhodani in every audience.

Cirque will also include deck plans for the Ringmaster class, a 1200-ton adventure-class ship designed to carry an additional 1200 tons of riders, pre-generated characters, a look at the "Standard Stanford Torus" rotating station commonly found throughout human space, and other tidbits.

A Kickstarter Project is in the works, and will allow pre-orders. The final project will be available in electronic and paperback formats. The electronic format is expected to be ready in February, available as a source for players of T5 and other versions of Traveller.



Writer: Gregory P. Lee. Ship Architecture by Rob Eaglestone.
With thanks to Marc Miller, Don McKinney, and Others
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  #2  
Old December 17th, 2012, 10:27 AM
Baron Baron is offline
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Sounds like fun. I once wrote an adventure with a circus, partially inspired by one of the Dumarest books.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 02:43 PM
BytePro BytePro is offline
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Great teaser!

Will PCs come from the 'pre-generated characters', or is some mechanic planned so PCs can 'fit in' with a circus?
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Old December 17th, 2012, 06:57 PM
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There was Stainless Steel Rat Joins The Circus, too. Could be the munchkin version of your adventure.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 03:29 PM
Aramais Aramais is offline
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Default I'll Try to Answer All Questions

All characters are generated by more-or-less straight T5 generation tables. The players will be able to generate performers or other characters. Performers come primarily from the "Entertainer" career charts. There will be some examples, as many as I can get done. Many of the acrobatic and aerialist arts can be rolled up using dancer sequences. Others can be rolled up with an assumption of specialization, such as animal handling. Some fudging may be useful (i.e., at least some skills should be assigned, rather than rolled).

A circus has a few acts that appear in the ring, but many other types are needed in this setting. The show will alternate between a high-class circus and other events -- there is an acting troupe and a Solomani Pre-Space Tribute Band (Rock and Roll, pals!). A Comic Juggler performs a routine nightly, along with scathing political commentary. The acts themselves require background music (a small band). A small group of Aslan performers may become part of the show, as may a Vargr performing some act or another. There are, of course, stage hands. Cirque duh Sirkas also employs "Advance Sophonts" who go to the next system to prepare the way, as it were. The Cirque duh Sirkas Foundation, LIC, also videos all performances to maintain intellectual property rights, requiring a crew of "documentarians." A security contingent (aka "babysitters for the damned flaky performers") is also included.

And, with all that said, the ship -- Cirque -- must be crewed. Most of the crew members are veterans of the Fifth Frontier War.

With all that, there are plenty of opportunities to roll interesting characters.

In fact, I would be interested in getting some help putting together pre-generated characters. There would be compensation -- ten accepted characters would buy one free copy of the paper version when it hits print. Contact me BEFORE you submit, though, for guidelines.

FYI, I have never read any of the Dumarest books, nor the particular Stainless Steel Rat book you mention. I was simply fascinated by the possibilities of entertainers on tour.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 03:37 PM
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Well, reading a few Dumarest novels should be a real treat for a Traveller fan! A quick Google search allows me to recommend Dumarest #28, "Melome," as taking place in a circus. I assume that's the one I remember. The other great tradition of the Dumarest books might possibly deserve a mention in your module: the Arena! A shady entertainment for slumming nobles, a chance for desperate Travellers to make some cash and build a stake to pay for their next Low Passage and get off the dead-end planet they're stuck on, Dumarest is known to use his high-level skill with Blade along with his superior Dexterity to compete in underground Arena combat. Rife with Gambling and underhanded trickery such as tainted Blades and light or sonic beams distracting the unwary competitor, Dumarest usually comes to the attention of a jaded woman of means after she observes his triumph in the Arena. Elaborate to taste. As you can see, the Dumarest novels were a major inspiration for several Traveller tropes.
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 01:25 PM
Aramais Aramais is offline
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Small Starburst Cirque Kickstarter Update: My Very First Backer

My Very First Backer Revealed
Update #4 Mar. 03, 2013 comment

With permission, I am privileged to announce the identity of the very first person to back me here on Kickstarter, with an actual pledge. This backer was already helping me out here and there with this project, so he didn't have to give me a money -- he was already promised the Whole Tour and Then Some Reward, though I hadn't put that in my public structure.

His name?

Marc Miller.

Now, I think you know he was already supporting this. He's provided suggestions along the way, has been updated as I worked out ideas, and has approved the project. He also was the first to suggest creating a brand new class of "leftover" Fourth Frontier War vessels which eventually led to Rob Eaglestone's design for the Ringmaster Class and auxiliaries.

Marc also helped me with my video and my Kickstarter campaign. His thoughts helped me design the tiers. I even gave in to his ideas on a few things I wasn't sure about, and I'm as stubborn as old Aramais P. Lee in general. His experience has been vast.

Marc keeps mentioning bears in e-mails, and that's another place where I've quietly sat by. I suppose I've seen dancing bears on TV and such, but I don't recall ever seeing one at the Big Apple Circus. I think they've been phased out of American circuses for one reason or another. And, due to starship weight limitations, I've kept most of the animals small.

Well, Marc's backing level entitles him to quite a bit more than most, but I was really pleased to see his name first on the backer list. And I do mean FIRST, not long after I went live. So for him, I've added the Creator of Traveller Backing Tier: He gets to name the dancing bears. And yes, there will be dancing bears. Real, old-fashioned Terran ursine bears. Two of them -- if you're going to genetically reconstitute a species, you should at LEAST reconstitute a breeding pair.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...-in-traveller5
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