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Anatomy of a Single Session Traveller Adventure...


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Good morning, All,

I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations on the nuts and bolts of creating a good Game Day / Mini-con Traveller adventure? The session length is typically four hours each, and each adventure serves 3-8 players, depending on table size.

From my prior experience designing Game Day adventures in other D20 systems, I've often used the following formula:

Five encounters:

1) Minor RP/Negotiation encounter;
2) Minor physical confrontation encounter;
(these two may be swapped, dependent on storyline...)

3) Minor RP/Negotiation encounter;
4) Minor physical confrontation encounter;
(again, these two may be swapped, dependent on storyline...)

5) Final major physical confrontation encounter.

In building the adventure, I've often deviated from the above pattern, because inspiration strikes. But it does present a good balance between action and roleplay, with a satisfying action sequence as the finale.

This works great for fantasy adventures, and sci-fi/sci-fantasy action-sessions like Star Wars or Dragonstar, but may not have the desired flavor of a Traveller adventure.

With that in mind, I'm just asking for input from more experienced Traveller referees as to their ideas on the anatomy of a good one-session adventure for Traveller. Would the above work? Or is there a better way?

Thanks in advance for your time,
I take it that no one has any advice on this topic? I was kinda hoping for the more experienced Traveller refs to show off some of their knowledge, but I think they're too busy planning their own campaigns.... ;)

Anyway, if someone has any thoughts, I'd love to hear them.

I think what Flynn is trying to do is knock an Adventure together that can be run for a group of players at a game shop, convetion etc. Something that will introduce the game mechanics of the t20 system, be fairly easy to run (so thta the ref can do a lot of rules explanation) and not require much background.

So if a player does enough research to find the website explaning what the game will be, then they won;t want to play the scenario, they should be looking for a "full" game.

See next post for a suggestion
First off, this sort of scenario ends up much more heavily "channeled" than most trav adventures, so I'd start with that in mind.

Secondly, the players are unlikely to be familiar with canon or the particular tech limits imposed.

I would keep all three "physical" encounters to either space or ground - of the two, the ground involves much less tech knowledge required.

See next post for a fairly simple suggestion.
All names/significant details removed to protect the guilty.

Background - The World of Eckse is a garden paradise reminiscent of the Cretaceous period of Earth. A biologist would immediately note that the "base" skeletal shape is eight legged with fore/lower mounted spinal cord (Ribs arch upwards - pseudo spine at the top)

When it was first discovered an colonised the huge beasts acted as a magnet for hunters accross the sector.

After the Interstellar war, the transport collapse left the planet without any communications with the rest of the universe.

When rediscovered, the population had reverted to a fuedal society, presidence within this society is based on the "bag" of large beasts which you have been able to kill. There are no radios and firearms are at the "bolt action" stage.

The "capital" was recontacted by scouts from the Imperium and a strict "non-interference" was agreed upon. A star Town has been set up administered by the scout service. Various academics are allowed to travel into Perth provided they abide by strict Tech limits and adhere to a "non-interference" policy.

One of these scientists has recently gone missing. A Small rescue party has been put together to go look for him (You guessed it)

From Satalite they have discovered a regular pulse of radio static coming from a location 30 km from the star town - sounds like Mr Scientist has jury rigged a distress beacon.

Actual facts - The Scientist has deliberately "gone bush" taking some decent firepower and intends to set up as a King once he can collect enough "trophy" kills. Over a couple of months he smuglled gear out to the bush - finally he has enough and isn;t coming back. The Radio link is surreptisciously installed someones backpack for cases like this.

Some of the party know of his defection and they are trying to hide the fact.

some of the Party are "customs" officers and they don;t care what happens as long as disruption is minimised.

Some of the party are big game hunters and just want a chance to kill something impressive.

Some of the party are traders and are having a look arround to see if the planet has anything worth exploiting.

Note everyone is officially volunteering to rescue the prof, their motives are their own (and only count for actual success/failure)

Combat - Minor - a couple of beast attacks - should give the players a chance to learn how combat works against things that don;t shoot back - or even give a "spitting" monster to encourage them to learn about cover. Anything more than this and you may lose players - not something you want.

RolePlay - Minor - trappers/woodsmen etc - follow rumors

Big combat - The scientist has killed a "big beast" then, while gloating, been captured by a group of locals. Party can see him tied up and half a dozen people with rifles hanging arround and playing with his "gear".

It's upto the party what they do - it's hard to imagine them letting the gear stay in local hands. It's upto their predilication whether they go for a roleplay solution or just blast away.

If they blast away, assuming that thye don;t kill 100% from ambush, they are almost garaunteed to lose a couple of players - we're talking half a dozen armed hunters who make their living stalking giant monsters - plus any that are out of sight while they are chatting.

Resolution - for cleanliness, it's easy if the scientist is shot by the Irish sniper Rick O'Shay, failing that it is upto party whether they take him back under lock and key, whether they confiscate his gear and let him stay or whatever.
Is that the sort of thing you are looking for (ie an idea core)

It's got way more combat than I would normally include, but sounds like that is what you were after.
Actually, Mink, in this case, I'm looking at an analysis of the content of a typical single session Traveller adventure, not an idea for such, though it is appreciated.

In one of your previous posts, you indicated that this type of scenario is more heavily channeled than most Traveller sessions, implying even con scenarios.

With that in mind, and speaking in generic terms, how would you describe the basic anatomy of a convention-ran Traveller scenario?

(Btw, nice suggestion! Consider it plucked and stolen. ;) )