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Interesting adventure setups


What is the best adventure setup you have used in your campaigns?
What do you feel was the reason it worked so well?

Interesting question. I once ran a campaign in which the four (sometimes 5) players were all active duty IISS and crewed a Suleiman-class socut/courier out of the base on Conway/Trin's Veil.

The campaign went over well, but it was also different from the many campaigns I ran before or after it.

No need for chargen - I asked each player how old they wanted to be and then issued them a character. While each PC had a different emphasis; medic, engineer, etc., the players got to customize them a bit too. I let them add or increase skills up to a point and modify their stats up to a point.

No need for money - Well, at least not much. The PCs got paid monthly, their ship belonged to the IISS, all of their real equipment needs were simply issued to them, they had "3 hots and cot" dirtside nearly everywhere they went.

No need for a back story - I didn't have to wrangle them together; You all meet in a bar... They were in the IISS and assigned to the ship.

No need for hooks - They were under orders so, as the GM, I didn't need to 'lure' or 'drive' them into potentially dicey situations.

No 'perpetual motion' - How many campaigns drag on and on and on with no real ending or goal in sight until everyone quits out of boredom and repitition? This campaign had a definite end planned from the very beginning. An end the players knew about too. Their assignment was one year in length, so the campaign would last one year in game time.

My group enjoyed this campaign very much. As the GM I enjoyed it too. I found it easier to plan and conduct. We talked about continuing for another one year assignment, maybe with new characters for one or two players, but we'd also been talking about playing Space:1889. In the end we decided to try something new.

Have fun,
I was a player in this one.

Our characters woke up. We had been in low Berths. We had no memory of who or what we were. There was no one in the room, but occasionally the room would shake. We figured there was a battle going on. As a player I had NO CHARACTER SHEET. I did not roll a character, I just started playing one.

Through the course of the first few adventures, we slowly learned what skills and characteristics we had. We would sit at a computer and some of us would get this "Hey! I know what to do with this!" feeling and we would write down COMPUTER- on our blank character sheets. We found a wrench in the ship's locker and passed it around to see who had MECHANICAL skills (pretty funny to imagine what someone would see in that situation). We eventually stole one of the Launches on the ship and escaped. There was a battle going on between our ship (an 800 ton Merc Cruiser) and a Zho ship. We landed on the planet, no money, no ID. Found out some of us had Streetwise skill and off we went. Sold the Launch for pittance, but enough to get money and fake IDs (we had NAMES!). We had a series of adventures where we were chased by Imperial Intelligence and the Zhos and several other groups we never identified.

We found out eventually that we were clones of highly skilled people that were being transported to the Imperial Frontier where we would be given personality implants and sent into Zho space as a covert ops group.

The early adventures where we didn't even know what skills we had ended up being REALLY fun. Lots of laughter as we passed around objects to see if we had any skill in it, then trying to figure out who knew more, so we could guess what skill level we had. Good Times.
Plankowner, that brings back fond memories of an ancient campaign of Aftermath (anyone remember the cold war?). We never did find out who we were, even though the campaign lasted two years real time (about 10 in the game). To this day I have a sneaking suspicion that the referee never figured it out, either ...

Excellent premise for a game, although keeping track of all the character sheets can be hard work for the referee. Everyone should try it at least once.

Those 'amnesia' campaigns sound like a lot of fun. Want to tell us a little more about them?

Have fun,
The Active Duty Marine campaign.

Had players roll off for 1st pick of the unit cadre positions.

Had players generate characters until they hit the target rank for the position. Failed survival resulted in losing a point of attribute. Reenlistment was automatic. Everyone got one roll per term on the benefits table, and one roll on the cash table. Roll as you go, not at end.

Players were cadre of the 3078th Marine Infantry, Regina. Assignment was to take and hold until relieved one of those low-pop Zhodani worlds. (it didn't matter which one, really.) The Joey's drove the fleet off after the drop... and pursued.

Now, it really worked well, especially since I was using the MT system, including the Large Scale combat rules from Ref's Compainion.
These "active-duty" campaigns (Bill's and Aramis') sound quite interesting - though they'll require players who don't have issues with having an authority over them. However, they seem refreshing to me as the lend structure and, if administered properly, give very fun RP possibilities. To say the truth I'm currently playing in such a campaign, with my character being Solomani naval Captain. Very fun so far

The good thing about Traveller military campaigns, as opposed to ones in other modern/scifi RPGs (Shadowrun, for example) is Traveller's comm-lags resulting in a ship's CO having quite alot of autonomy and orders being general (i.e. "go to star-system X, deal with issue Y" or even "patrol star-systems A, B and C, deal with any problem that arises").

Military/duty campaigns work best with players who don't want to deal with the economical side of things or with random exploration; the Service (Military, Scouts, Police etc) provides the gear and pays for repairs/maintainance, and you'd usually have generic orders that'll hook you into the plot.

An idea that has just poped into my mind is a police campaign. No, not planetside police (though that couldbe quite fun as well, especially in high TLs), but an interstellar law enforcement agency on the high frontier ("Texas Rangers" rather than "NYPD"). The players in such a campaign will have a Type-T Patrol Cruiser at their disposal, as well as enough NPCs to fill the roster besides them; they'll have to patrol a subsector of deep frontier, deal with pirates and planetside criminals; and such a campaign would be served well by having some kind of "criminal mastermind" or syndicate as the recurring villian to be defeated at the end.
As a GM, the amnesia campaign sounds great. As a player though, I've been in several, and hated them more than perhaps any other bad game I've ever been involved with. Frusteration, lack of input into the character developement, and a variety of other factors always made it very not-fun for me and the other players. I suppose it depends on the group you're with. Because of my own experience with it, I'd NEVER use that particular hook, because I know how it affected me and mine when we were playing. Just be warned, know your group before you do it!
For me the most interesting adventure/campaign was the one a group of friends and I ran when we first got the LBB boxed set.
We created characters, then gen'ed a subsector and pretty much made up everything else as we went along. We took turns GM'ing and each GM would detail a system or world as it we got to it.

Once down, the navy pullled out leaving the PC LtCol "in charge." They had no one at all to pull rank upon them, and It wasn't a happy situation.... I set them down on a reeducation center!

There are lots of times and places for in the otu where Unit CO's will have extensive autonomy. Many many more where dirtsiders won't, but the Navy might.
Originally posted by Aramis:
There are lots of times and places for in the otu where Unit CO's will have extensive autonomy. Many many more where dirtsiders won't, but the Navy might.
Especially in a small-ship TU with 4 Kinunirs per subsector...