• Welcome to the new COTI server. We've moved the Citizens to a new server. Please let us know in the COTI Website issue forum if you find any problems.

CT Only: The Spiral Common is Lost!

Have you noticed that if you take High Guard or Mayday and combine that with the combat system in AHL that you have all you need to create a Traveller board game that features vast space battles and harrowing boarding actions!


Your ship is in port. You've got a little time to get away. You find a startown dive serving Travellers and locals alike.

In the corner is Tevek game. They've got a seat open.


You sit down and play a few hands. The conversation moves around to the Spiral Common, a large warship that was lost just after the Fifth Frontier War.

Referee: The Spiral Common needs a McGuffin. Maybe it was lost with holds full of gold or gem stones or some other sort of precious metal or ore. The Spiral Common is tasked with support of the war torn Spinward Marches after the Fifth Frontier War. The funds are Imperial support for the Dukes to help rebuild the Imperial border.

If you don't like that idea, pick something that fits well with your tastes and your campaign. Maybe the Spiral Common is said to be bring items from an Ancient Site to a Research Station in the Marches.


Play the Tevek game for a few hands, but just before the players lose interest in it, segue with the dialogue to the battle.

Play this like a flashback sequence in a movie. We cut to...

Referee: Create the battle. Use HG to create the Spiral Common ship class. You need some bad guys, too. Maybe it's the Zhodani--they've gotten wind of the Spiral Common's cargo.

Use High Guard or Mayday for the ship combat.

Use AHL for boarding actions. You can use GEOMORPHS FROM THIS THREAD to create the deckplans necessary for the boarding actions.

This can be a lot of fun! Huge space ships firing missiles and lasers at each other. Then, Marines sent over to cut into a ship, battling deck by deck to take control of the vessel.

You may want to use the deckplans for the Lightning Class Cruisers in Sup 5 or even the plans for the Colonial Cruiser in Adv 1.


Instead of playing this as a flashback that represents the conversation happening at the Tevek game, what if it was really the memories of the PC?

Was he in the Navy? The Marines?

If so, maybe he was there. Or, maybe a relative was there--his father or grandfather. His brother. A friend he knew in the service?


If, when playing the flashback, the PC (if the PC is there) gets killed or wounded during the boarding action, that's perfect. You want the ending of the battle to be murky.

The battle sets up the question. We know this much about what happened to the Spiral Common. But, was the ship destroyed during the battle? We don't know.

Conspiracy Theory. Lost Treasure. Mysterious Starships.


At some point (the right dramatic moment), we cut back to the PC and the Tevek game...just as one of the card players--the old timer--is saying, "Yeah, I know what happened to the Spiral Common. She's still intact, and I know where she floats."

Referee: This part is all about roleplaying. The job of the Ref is to hook the players into believing the old timer.

It would be hard to cover how this will play out. The idea is to get the PCs to try to pry the info from the old timer--be convinced that the information is true--and then mount an expedition to find the ship.

Maybe there's a section here where the players equip themselves--which can be expensive. Do they have a good ship? A scout vessel wouldn't do. You'd want a vessel with some cargo space. Weapons may be useful. Need to buy some missiles? Have everything needed for boarding action?

From here, the adventure takes on a similar track to some of the situations in Adv 1 Kinunir. One of those ideas could be used to finish off this adventure, using your new deckplans for the Spiral Common, of course.
This kind reminds me of the old JTAS adventure “Aces and Eights” where a merc company payroll shipment gets lost during a battle and years later a random poker game gives the PCs a chance to recover the money. The Spiral Common could have been the paymaster’s vessel...

If you like wearing an evil Ref’s hat, there’s the old Han Solo novel about the great lost treasure of the Mad Pirate Xim... a massive hoard of precious gems in the old pirate’s booty sense. After many adventures, the ship is found, the heroes find a way in, the cargo bay opens, they are knee-deep in gemstones!! Which are basically just plastic baubles of no value, but were of immense worth back in the days of Xim... (1 or 2 TLs ago?....):devil:

Some day I’ll spring that Xim thing on my group...
What would a Free Trader crew be doing boarding another ship like that? Time is money, and that mortgage payment ain't gonna make itself! </sarc>

Seriously, I love the exploration of other modes of playing Traveller. That is exactly what the original GDW crew was doing with Bk 4 and Bk 5 - presenting other, focused modes for play.