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  #1  
Old January 22nd, 2005, 06:45 PM
mjungledog mjungledog is offline
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Howdy!
I am a new GM but not so new to the Traveller universe. I ran into a problem last night that I would like some input on.

Background:
The PC's were prepping their Far Trader for launch when the PC security officer (a Marine with a real hard ass view to how marines should be regarded) defended himself from a crazed crewman with a pistol. The rest of the crew showed up after they heard the shots to see the PC standing over the crewman with a pistol in his hand. The captain of the vessel, another PC, ordered the security PC to drop his weapon. Long story short, the marine gets shot by the captain.

We role played the legal ramifications of the situation, which led the captain to dismissing the security officer. This of course means that the security player now needs a new character.

The Problem:
The player of the marine doesn't want a new character, but he refuses to try to get his job back in a realistic fashion. He tried when we played last, but his attempt was, shall we say, a bit weak.

What I Need:
I have an idea or two about getting the marine character back into the party, but I was hoping I could garner a few ideas from you fine Citizens, to see if there is something better than what I have. Let me know.
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  #2  
Old January 22nd, 2005, 08:57 PM
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flykiller flykiller is offline
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well, if you're inclined to keep the player ....

a) a secret video camera shows what actually happened, and the marine is vindicated.

b) you can run two parallel games. the marine joins a ship repossession company and comes looking for the other PC's ship when they fall behind in payments.

c) the crazed crewman turns out to be a former mafia (or whatever) hitman who knew where some loot was stashed, and his organization, seeing his obituary and finding out where he was working when he died, decides the players now know what he knew and come looking for them. the marine finds this out and has an opportunity to redeem himself in the eyes of the crew by defending them, or an opportunity to get back at the crew by helping locate and distract them.
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 09:06 PM
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Was the discharging of a lethal weapon an appropriate level of response?
It sounds like it was but only barely, possibly because of your need to try to minimise the ramafications of this action. As a nominated security officer of a merchant vessel discharging his weapon is probably ok, with enough justification, a full investigation would be a good idea, just having the Captain throw him overboard would also be OK.

Disobeying a direct Order?
If the player wants a hard-arsed Marine Corp he should be expected to be spaced for this offence. Shooting someone could be justified, insubordination is inexcusable.
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Old January 23rd, 2005, 03:16 PM
mjungledog mjungledog is offline
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Flykiller- I am trying to get the marine to join a parallel group that I am running, but I don't think that it will work.

Veltyen- The captain's discharge of the weapon was in response to the marine not lowering his weapon when ordered. He wasn't charged. The marine was cleared for discharging his weapon because it was in self defence on the ship. The marine was dismissed from the crew when he failed to lower his weapon as ordered. He accepts this and is willing to make a new character. The problem is, he doesn't really want a new character. I'm trying a few things to get him to retain his PC but so far he is being a bit "resistant".

Thanks for the suggestions. Keep them coming...
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Old January 24th, 2005, 01:06 AM
kaladorn kaladorn is offline
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If the ex-Marine was a crew member, then it was his Captain giving a legal order (and the Captain is GOD on his own starship). He should at the very least have had a tongue-lashing and a reprimand entered on his record. Dismissal isn't outrageous. Still, the Captain may have went a bit far too.

My suggestion is that if the player wants to continue to play the character, you talk to the Captain about the situation and point out that perhaps a reprimand would be sufficient or taking the Security Officer back on probation would make things flow more smoothly for the game. Strongly hint it makes your life easier and thereby makes his life easier.

If that doesn't work out, work with the Marine PC to come up with an alternative character concept.

That's my suggestion. I've GMed and played many traveller games and the adversarial ones were always more work.

And point out to the Marine player that the ship's Captain expects to be obeyed. And a Marine obeys officers and is unfailingly polite to them. Point out to the Captain that a merchant ship is NOT a ship-of-the-line and he should not expect the same snappy response he might get from someone 'in the service'. Point out to both of them that a PC group functions best when everyone works *together* and the game (and everyones gaming experience) suffers collectively when this is not the case.
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Old January 24th, 2005, 04:07 AM
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Ship was planetside preparing to launch. Captain is only GOD at sea ("under way" would be the better qualifier for a spaceship). BUT, threat is ended, security officer is ordered to lower weapon. Should be simple.

Seems like more of a roleplaying problem. Resolving this depends on the player(s), not the character(s).
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Old January 24th, 2005, 01:10 PM
kaladorn kaladorn is offline
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Does a Captain lose responsibility for his crew legally while the vessel is not underway? I don't believe so. He may have to subordinate certain powers to Port Authority or the Law, but he retains a charge-of-care for his crew and vessel along with liabilities, if I'm not mistaken. And an order is still an order while you are onboard the vessel.

And yes, resolution depends on the character of the players more than the characters of the players.
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Old January 24th, 2005, 05:53 PM
mjungledog mjungledog is offline
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A more complete explanantion:

The two PC's in question are brothers in real life. That alone makes the game a bit more adversarial.

The whole legal ramifications were played out as part of the role playing session. In the end the captain told the marine to try to get his job back (as an out-of-game discussion) and the marine PC did not role play this to anyone's satisfaction. An example of dialogue:

Captain: "You need to apologize."

Marine: "You want me to apologize? Fine, I apologize for the fact that you're a moron and don't know that I was trying to protect the ship!"

This is in essence the problem. The marine does not believe that his character would behave in the way that is required to get his job back.

Anyway, the marine player has rolled up another character and I will be taking over the marine as an NPC for the parallel group.

Thanks for your help, everyone.
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Old January 24th, 2005, 08:02 PM
kaladorn kaladorn is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by mjungledog:
A more complete explanantion:

The two PC's in question are brothers in real life. That alone makes the game a bit more adversarial.
[img]graemlins/file_28.gif[/img]

Why didn't you say so! I'd have readily admitted the only solution involves Gauss Pistols at Dawn (with appropriate seconds). [img]graemlins/file_23.gif[/img]

Quote:

Marine: "You want me to apologize? Fine, I apologize for the fact that you're a moron and don't know that I was trying to protect the ship!"
Ah, the John Sheridan apology.

Quote:

This is in essence the problem. The marine does not believe that his character would behave in the way that is required to get his job back.

Anyway, the marine player has rolled up another character and I will be taking over the marine as an NPC for the parallel group.

Thanks for your help, everyone.
I've had characters I didn't believe would accept certain turns of fate or personality in gaming situations. But I'm also not reticent to retire one and start another. That is a very natural process in my eyes. Especially since chargen is a little metagame of reinvention in itself!

Anyway, let us know how it turns out.

Brothers... that's always gonna be a trouble spot.
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Old January 25th, 2005, 04:37 AM
lightsenshi lightsenshi is offline
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I think everyone is overlooking one little detail. When you have to discharge your weapon, you're usually trained to shoot to kill. That means when the body stops twitching (or your magazine is empty) you stop shooting, not before.

The captain has the legal right to simply go ahead and have the security officer charged with mutiny. The security officer, of course, can simply shoot the captain. [img]smile.gif[/img]
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