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In-Jump adventure seeds


Has anyone tried to run their PC's on an adventure during jump? A week can be a real long time cooped up in a relatively small space. It can be the perfect place to make important business deals, or gather important information... Perhaps someone hires the PC's to spy on an individual during a jump, and they have to extract or find certain information before they reach their destination... I have several ideas, but this is one I'm working on currently. It is located along the periphery of the sword worlds, but it can easily be transported to the Gateway sector with all it's political intrigues...
Terrorists (Sword Worlder militants) infiltrate the crew of a large liner. A shipment of low passengers contains many of the terrorists. One of the terrorists has positioned herself as the ships medic. During a "down" time, when most the ship is in it's sleep cycle, she begins waking her coconspirators. The P.C's now get to be involved in a high-jacking, during jump. The idea is that the terrorists take control of many vessels destined for a specific target. When the locals read the ships coming out of jump, all seem ok... until they dock. Then terrorists from many ships pour out and attempt to take over the high port. But that story seed can become very involved. Right now its just an idea. Lots of holes and I may not involve a "system wide" conspiricy. It could also just be a corporate raid or something...
Anyone else with adventure ideas while in jump?
Originally posted by Jak Nazrith:
Has anyone tried to run their PC's on an adventure during jump?
It's a staple of Traveller.

Originally posted by Jak Nazrith:
Terrorists [. . .] Anyone else with adventure ideas while in jump?
Don't forget that the terrorists will have to disable the Anti-Hijacking software, somehow, otherwise all the hatches and irises just lock (and need to be cut, or hacked, through).

Originally posted by Jak Nazrith:
Anyone else with adventure ideas while in jump?
Oh yes. ;)

I'll start it off.

The players are in jump, and begin to see odd things out the viewports in the grey field of jumpspace . . . some strange being/creature begins to stalk the players, one by one . . . there are mad evil demons living in jumpspace . . . ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! :eek:
First suggestion:
Shortly after entering jump one of the passengers is found murdered with a note attached to the body saying "This is everybody's fate aboard this ship." Now the ship has a serial killer aboard. Who is he and how do the PC's find him? Sorta like the old 'How to host a murder mystery' parlor games.

Second suggestion:
Two emissaries and their consorts from a balkanized world have booked passage on the ship with the PC's. They are sworn enemies enroute to a peace conference but old habits are hard to change. Once in jump space the two groups start to stalk and kill each other aboard the ship.
Another common one.

A PC(s) is(are) called upon by a shipping line's owner to investigate the pilfering of cargo materials on a ship or ships in-jump. Is it the crew? Repeat passengers? Jumpspace demons?
Merc Rebellion in Jumpspace

A Broadsword Merc Cruiser is taking a team of 30 mercs to what amounts to a suicide mission. Half the mercs on board signed on only because they had little or no other choice. However, one of the mercs, a sergeant, is an inverterate cynic/complainer, and something of a backstabber. He talks the worst of the mercs into launching a rebellion to seize the ship and kill the other mercs and crew. They'll take the ship off to an extra-Imperial market and sell it (a couple of the mercs will have Pilot and Navigation skills, so they can make the trip). It'll be war, with the crew and loyal mercs vs. the mutineers (or whatever you call passengers who rebel . . .).
Hee, hee, hee! >:)
Players can't escape. Must face down the challenge, little other choice. Bad guys can turn off life support....
Mr. Nazrith,

In-jump adventures are a good way to make your PCs put down their guns and actually role-play for a change.

With most, if not all, of their firepower locked away by the ship's crew, your PCs will have to think (horrors!) and use all those beforehand useless 'social' skills the chargen gave them; you know stuff like liaison, streetwise, carousing, recruiting, interrogation, and so on. While flexing some seldom used skills the PCs can:

- Run interference for a unofficial card game. The ship allows gambling just as long as it in the casino it controls. A group of high stakes types wants to enjoy an evening of no limit card play, something the casino doesn't offer. They approach the PCs to provide a little 'security' from security. The PCcs will have to escort players to and from the game, deliver food and drink, and buffalo any crewmen that happen along all while maintaining the game's low profile. The payoff could be big, both in CrImps and job offers, if the PCs succeed.

- Act as bodyguards for someone who doesn't know that they are his bodyguards! He is important in some manner, he has powerful friends, and he is also an utter *sshole. He takes sabbaticals occasionally, usually boarding a liner and travelling for a month or so before returning home. The trouble begins with the trouble he creates with other passengers and crewmen. He normally returns home after these sabbaticals with a lumps, bruises, fines, civil lawsuits, and a mountain of bills. This time his friends have hired the PCs to 'mind' him. They're to travel aboard the same vessels he does, befriend him somehow, watch his back, soothe the feathers he ruffles, pay the bills he incurs, and generally clean up whatever messes he creates. What they cannot do is let him know they've been hired to do this.

- Someone has planted something in one of the PC's cabin. The item is either illegal, immoral, or both. Being found in possessio of the item wold have caused all sorts of problems for the PCs with the vessel's crew, their fellow passengers, and the authorities at the next port of call. Fortunately, the PCs found the item before anyone else did. It was a close call too, a crewman was just arriving to fix a reported equipment problem in the PCs cabin! Who planted the item? Why was it planted? How will the PCs dispose of it? Will there be another attempt to frame them like this? Or will there be an attempt to cause them trouble in another manner? The PCs will have to investigate both their fellow passengers and about the crew while taking pains not to be seen as investigating anything at all. One possible lead may be finding out who requested that service call to the PC's cabin.

Less boom-boom and more brains is always makes for a nice change of pace.

Some of my favorites:

Loss of life support - Shortly after jump fire/hull breach/sabotage/overcrowding has causes a catastrophic life support failure and the engineer can't maintain the proper gas mix. Then the crew starts hallucinating as hypoxia sets in. Where can they find more oxygen? Add in already full low berths and faulty vacc suits for more interesting play.

A strange visitor - During the jump, a metallic humanoid form suddenly appears in the center of the lounge and falls into a heap, lying dormant for several minutes. Just as the crew become enboldened enough to approach, the humanoid stands and forces his way toward the engineering compartment and the jump drive. The being appears to have some sort of force field surrounding it that provides limited protection from projectiles and lasers (that limit set by the GM). Once in engineering, if it makes it that far, the being appears to scan the jump drive for several minutes. Once complete it will then search for the ship's computer. At the computer it will conduct another scan, lasting several minutes. If allowed to complete its scan, the being will then deposit a strange device near the computer and depart in a flash of light. The device is a monitor and recording device that will be collected later by the same being.

For the GM: This started a J-space adventure arc I created to introduce another group of ancients to my players. The metal humanoid is an actual human, encased in a Lanthanum jump suit which allows him to travel independently in J-space. He is the avatar of a xenophobic ancient race who are very concerned about the J-space travel now going on so very close to their homeworld which is hidden away in J-space nearby. They are most worried of discovery and eventual exposure to attack by their ancient enemies who still roam the galaxy. The intruder is not malicious or bent on the destruction of the ship, only to determine the threat. If the crew are able to stop him and appear cooperative, he may divulge this information and more.

Plague - When an NPC crewman suddenly dies, the ship's medic/doc discovers a rare strain of some deadly disease is present onboard. Who brought it onboard? Who has it? Are they contagious? How long does everyone have to live?

Lost Time - This can lead to any number of interesting plot arcs. The navigator, as he/she is readying for N-space precipitation, notices that the ship's clock shows more time has past during the jump than he/she can account for. Asking the other crew, he/she finds that they don't remember much of anything after departing their last port. The engineer can verify the time loss from his plant logs. What could have caused it? Where they drugged by someone onboard? Is there anything missing? What happened during the lost time?
One in jump surprise that I sprung on my players was to have an attempted hijacking shortly after jump by 3 hijackers hidden in a specialized cargo container loaded just before jump.

The refrigerated cargo container was ostensibly loaded with cloned body parts (and a cursory inspection revealed boxes of those parts). The cargo container also had a hidden climate controlled compartment with 3 hijackers in vac suits. Around 2-3 AM, the first night into jump, the hijackers emerged, gained access to the environmental controls, and set the environmental controls to slowly evacuate the entire ship.

"QUOTE"- Act as bodyguards for someone who doesn't know that they are his bodyguards! He is important in some manner, he has powerful friends, and he is also an utter *sshole. He takes sabbaticals occasionally, usually boarding a liner and travelling for a month or so before returning home. The trouble begins with the trouble he creates with other passengers and crewmen. He normally returns home after these sabbaticals with a lumps, bruises, fines, civil lawsuits, and a mountain of bills. This time his friends have hired the PCs to 'mind' him. They're to travel aboard the same vessels he does, befriend him somehow, watch his back, soothe the feathers he ruffles, pay the bills he incurs, and generally clean up whatever messes he creates. What they cannot do is let him know they've been hired to do this. "QUOTE"

Sounds like a few of my clients in real life. ;)
Originally posted by Jak Nazrith: Sounds like a few of my clients in real life. ;) [/QB]
Mr. Nazrith,

I'm a tech rep too. Where do you think I got the idea from? :(

Seriously though, try a 'gun-free' adventure sometime. Gamers require a balanced diet of adventures. Too much boom-boom isn't good for the digestion.

The only thing I remember is having my players need to meet up with an alien spy on a 600-ton liner, and having (now aboard their own ship) to deal with an overzealous undercover agent.
Rescue in Jumpspace,

Aboard a Far Trader (or similar 200 dTon or smaller vessel).

While standing watch in the middle of the night, ship's-time, the pilot of the vessel sits up bolt upright as a klaxon sounds a proximity warning alarm, and a red light appears over on one panel. The pilot swings his external cameras around, and sure enough, ten meters off the starport beam looms a 600 dTon Subsidized Liner.

The Far Trader is hailed by a harried junior officer aboard the subsidized merchant who declares that an internal explosion killed most of the senior crew, and gutted lifesupport. They had all thought they were dead until the Far Trader appeared on sensors. The junior officer wishes to mate airlocks and disembark the remaining crew and passengers, and he'll think over the impossibility of meeting the Far Trader later.

It's up to the Far Trader's just awoken crew to decide if they take the nearly full load of passengers and partially depleted crew on board. Lifesupport will have to go into emergency conditions. If the players and subby crew are smart, they'll move as many supplies over as they can.

It's technically a requirement to render assistence, but no one will believe the Far Trader encountered a ship in jumpspace, so they can probably get away with abandoning the subby.

Within 30 minutes of docking (if the players go for the rescue), gradually increasing vibrations begin to shake both vessels. Within another 30 minutes, they'll be so violent the ship's will either have to disengage or they'll be ripped apart, a decision which will have to be made within 2 more minutes. Any longer, and both ships are lost with all hands as the ships are thrown against each other with massive force.

It'll be a struggle. Passengers aboard the subby will want to bring their gear, including their alloted cargo allowances. Some of the passengers won't take no for an answer. There will be pleadings, pursuasions, bribery attempts, threats of influence and violence, etc. At least one passenger will have something so valuable in the subby's cargo bay that they will die or kill to get it aboard the Far Trader. And they players will be outnumbered, too. The only way there will be enough room for just the subby's crew, passengers, and extra food to be brought over (if any), is to begin dumping cargo out the port cargo hatch and freeing up deckspace.

Will the players be able to manage the subby's crew and passengers? If they're smart, the first order of business will be to take command of the subby's crew in a contest of wills and legal bickering (if they don't, it probably won't work). Will they get everything aboard they need before the ships are destroyed? Will everyone starve? Will the players be sued for dumping cargo? Will passengers denied access to their possessions retaliate in court (or in alleyways)?

Will <insert your favorite Intel Agency> go after the players due to the unprecedented meeting of two vessels in jumpspace? Will they be debriefed for years and then liquidated? Will they be on the run from everyone who wants to know how two ships met in jumpspace?

Enjoy. :D
Originally posted by RainOfSteel:
Rescue in Jumpspace...

Enjoy. :D
Oh, nice, very very evil, er, nice

Wheels are turning, but I'm afraid they may just mess up the balance of it. Oh well, see what you think of these twists...

When the player's ship precipitates out of J-space the crew, passengers and cargo (if any) that were transferred from the stricken liner vanish, just fade out as the ship fades back into real space (or pops if that's your view). All the electronics aboard the ship are zapped by some strange electrical discharge that seems to only affect any record of the time from when the ship was encountered (just before the proximity detector went off) to just when the ship precipitated. A manual measurement of life support volumes will show the expected drain of the extra bodies but not why (and it could just be sloppy accounting, skimping on the replenishment, or a number of other reasons less fantastic).

If you're really evil, later (perhaps after the PC's have moved on), another ship arriving in system will report a debris field beyond the 100d point (and along the PC's entry flight path if checked). Investigation will reveal several bodies and some cargo, intact except for the vacuum exposure, in the midst of the remains of a liner that appears to have exploded quite violently. The plot thickens. Will the authorities think the PC's attempted piracy and after taking captives and booty destroyed the liner, and then spooked by something dumped it all overboard and concocted the wild tale to cover thier tracks?
The Ex - How about a pair of ex-lovers who did not know that the other was aboard ship until after lift-off. The two agree that this is awkward and make a show of being nice to one another. As time progresses (particularly during jump), the two steadily become more antagonistic towards each other until they are physically attacking one another in the passageways. The players (as crew or passengers) are caught in the middle of this petty drama.

The Conspiracy Theorist - One of the passengers is incredibly ill on the first night of jump. He is convinced that someone had attempted to drug him and kill him during the voyage. Actually, the passenger had far too much to drink and is suffering from a case of alcohol poisoning during jump. Yet this will not stop him from making outrageous claims as to who onboard tried to murder him.

The Drunken Suicide Pact - One of the passengers has a terminal illness and is travelling home to die. While in jump, in a fit of drunken sharing, the passenger tells a couple of other passengers who are also drunk in the ship's lounge. These few are so depressed and sympathetic that they form a suicide pact and attempt to end their lives with galley cutlery in an alcoholic haze. The players can either walk in on this or find the passengers passed out and bleeding from their failed suicide attempts.

The Boogeyman - After hearing one too many stories of creatures living in Jumpspace, a working passage has decided to play a practical joke. The individual has set a toy monster on a short wire in a spring loaded capsule on the hull near a viewport. The 'monster' in a box is set to trigger about a day after the ship enters jump so that the 'monster' will make brief occassional appearances in the viewport while it is dangling on the end of its wire. The working passage prankster can either be onboard or off the ship already before the 'joke in a box' is sprung. If the prankster is onboard, he/she will be trying their best to scare the bejeezus out of everyone for their own amusement. (Of course, the 'monster' will burn off during reentry to an atmosphere or upon exiting jump, leaving no trace.)

I'll see if I can think up a few more over the weekend.
Bomb in Jumpspace

This is waaaayyyy old:

Any Ship, Outbound, About to Jump

In the moments before the ship jumps, it receives a communication that there is a bomb aboard that will detonate when the ship exits jumpspace, and then the ship completes the jump sequence and enters jumpspace.

The players have one week +/- to spend ripping their hair out by the roots looking for a bomb that has been concealed in some clever place. Like the landing gear bays, or on the surface of the ship, right before launch. It'll require an EVA during jump to find the bomb.

If no PCs have EOD skills, then the bomb will be simple, and Electrical can sub for disarming the bomb. If any of the PCs have EOD skills, then the bomb's detonation system will be complex, and it will be boobytrapped.

They players may wish to investigate, and can be lead into whatever twisted web the GM wishes, at this point. Basically, this can be a tie-in that leads anywhere, a leash to toss around the players if they wind up going in the wrong direction (hopefully, they'll go straight back to the system they came from . . . no, wait, we're talking about players, here, they'll go anywhere but where they're supposed to).
Hijack! (In Jumpspace)

Outbound, aboard a Far Trader.

The players have a full cargo and full single occupancy (6 passengers).

On the way out to the jump limit, a regular communication includes an update that a criminal starship hijacker is thought to be in the system, and that all starships are to stay on constant guard for the time being.

The mystery hijacker, known only by the handle, "Superdense Lifter", or just SL, is thought to be in system due to a call in to the local authorities, and a statement made over the telecomm net that a hijacking would be made soon (a signature calling card of the hijacker).

Bad news for the players. Five of six passengers aboard are suspicious and disreputable.

Passenger 1: A retired Merc Officer. Tall, 215cm, Vilani descent, reserved, cool, but with eyes permanently squinted, as if he'd spent a lot of time staring into lights too bright. He's been in too many wars and battles, and has little care for human life. Messing with him is not a good idea . . . isn't that a guass pistol concealed in his jacker, better not ask him for it, since he did pay 20,000 credits for a mid passgage, no questions asked.

Passenger 2: Solomani Female: Unknown: 185cm, 36-26-26. She's a blond bombshell who obviously has far too much experience manipulating men to get what she wants. She almost managed to bargain the players down below the Cr10,000 for high passage. When she showed her ID papers before boarding, they were obviously forged, but since her credits weren't, and the players needed the money, they decided to overlook this problem before takeoff.

Passenger 3: Solomani Female: Ex Imperial Marines: 178cm. She's slim and somewhat flat-chested, with short shorn chestnut brown hair, brown eyes, and beach tanned brozne complexion. She's very heavily muscled, but not quite enough to compete in body building. She excersises and does martial arts katas a great deal in her spare time. She talks alot about her days in a lift infantry division, packing an FGMP-15 in support of her squad. She has all sorts of hair raising tales of barely survived landings, and bone chilling tales of using her fusion weapon to mow down any opposition in her path, men, women, children, no consequence. Anyone who talks to her for while will realize she can continue on in the same vein, even right now, without blinking an eye.

Passenger 4: Vargr Male: 190cm. Proud, and obviously possessed of vast self-confidence, it speaks in the way he moves and the way he talks, sharp and clear about everything. He can speak human-style Galanglic without accent, a remarkable feat for his physiology. He paid Cr10,000 for a high passage, and Cr50,000 to get his dTon of cargo onto the ship without any questions from the crew (who knows what he paid the starport personnel?).

Passenger 5: Vilani/Solmani Mix Male: Scientist: 192cm. Black Hair, Blue Eyes, 190#. Wears old-fashioned rimmed spectalces. His High Passage was paid for by his university. He's carrying home a dTon of biological samples. His papers and his documentation for his cargo are impeccable. He seems quite out of place among the others, and stays in his room a great deal. If his spectacles are ever examined, it is discovered they are a TL-12 item capable of low-light, thermal, x10 telecopic, and are capable of displaying a marquee from wireless connection to any handcomp (they run off body heat), and can serve as a part of a smartgun system, too.

Passenger 6: Vilani Male: Ex-Imperial Navy. A barely functioning alcoholic, a check of his service record (if made before take off) will show that he was court-martialled for dereliction of duty, and served a five year sentence (he plead his case out for a reduced sentence). He's out since then, doing who knows what, but he had the Cr10,000 for the high passage. His dTon of cargo is, remarkably, all various types of expensive alcohol. His baggage is a change of clothes, two cases of twelve bottles of cheap scotch, and a selection of printed books on military strategy, several of them on covert operations.

Can the players do anything but worry with such a lot on board?

Have the player acting as steward arrive in the passenger area, with the lift door opening, to have the entire group of passengers sitting around a table, and cut off an obviously ongoing conversation the moment the door opens. Do it more than once.

If the players try to listen in, they'll hear nothing but hair raising anecdotes of the past, some of actual criminal activities. Smuggling and bribery is the least of it. Nothing about hijacking, though. At least, not when they're listening.

Do the players risk investigating the cargoes?

Enjoy the paranoia. :D
What about the Mary Celeste? The Jumpspace encounter with another ship. You board her (oddly, she doesn't compromise your jump field) and find her crew gone. Logs show everything was fine up until somewhere mid-jump, normal entries, then nothing. The crew are just gone. Of course, if people check, Jump entry was 120 years ago.... and as time is passed on the ship, people feel increasingly uneasy, seeing things out of the corner of their eyes, etc. At some point, the players notice the ship's hull seems to be getting a bit transparent... (then it is a race to get back to their ship, or vanish with the Ghost Ship!).
Or the 'This Has Gone On Too Long....' scenario...

7 days have passed. You haven't precipitated. The Captain and Crew are trying to pass this off as a normal situation, since there are variables, but they get increasingly nervous and concerned. Then a passenger does some research in the ship's database and the jig is up... everyone knows this is a bad scene with limited resources. You get into the whole 'lifeboat logic' situation - you don't know when you'll be rescued, but you do know that the less people there are, the longer the supplies of air, water, etc. will last. Throw in a disgruntled crewman willing to side with the passengers (or some of them), or poor opsec with security fobs or passcodes, and you've got a live mutiny. And then, just for a yuck, maybe at the high point of the mutiny, you have the ship actually come out of jumpspace right near a local patrol vessel. Or maybe one of the PCs or someone the PCs met aboard is a prominent academic (affiliated with the Jumpspace Institute) and he has a theory on how to help propagate the ship out of its overlong jump... but the crew thinks it will blow the ship up. He's right (his method will work, even if the ship does tumble and lose power except for emergency beacons), but the PCs need to help him get access to the drive control systems and ideally NOT kill the ship's crew, and they are determined not to let him do this at any cost.....