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The Traveller Adventure


I have read about this adventure previously, but I don't know anything about it. I've tried googling for information but turned up very little.

So I ask the friendly denizens of COTI about it. What is it about? Would someone like to review it in detail?
Without dropping any major spoilers it is a book length adventure for Classic Traveller detailing the Aramis subsector.

The campaign itself is built around the adventures of the subsidised merchant the March Harrier and its crew and features the theft of a maguffin, scheming megacorps, unscrupulous smugglers, rampaging Vargr corsairs, two decidedly weird alien races, a psionics institute and much more.

Given that the March Harrier is a jump-1 starship you can easily spend a year of game time on the campaign and its good for several months of weekly sessions.

At its time (early 1980s) it was considered not just the best Traveller but one of the best scenario packs ever released for any RPG.

Looked at twenty-odd years on its not without flaws: no NPC stats, only a handful of the worlds are mapped, the only deckplans given are for the March Harrier itself and some of the scenario chapters are less detailed (in current RPG terms they are more like adventure seeds than fully fleshed-out scenarios) than they should be.

Production values are pretty good for the time - its a full size softcover RPG book rather than a LBB, not a lot of art but relatively well laid-out and organised.

So it does require rather more work from a GM than equivalent campaigns for a more modern RPG.

However if you're using CT to play it, statting up NPCs etc is not a big deal - and if you're converting it to another system the lack of detail may actually be a positive.

I'd still say it's a must buy and in effect you can now get it for pennies as it is included on the new Classic Traveller CD-ROM.

If you want a dead tree copy, it does come up relatively regularly on e-bay and I think I got mine for about $30 or so.
Like Alte said: add in also the beginnings of something wider before this time all adventure were one shot with few details like Shadows (which is out there in the public domain), the Traveller Adventure created an arc which then explained the OTU in a more comprehensive way by giving examples of what was being discussed in sourcebooks.
Alte - Thank you! It's really quite nice to get all the nits in one place, it helps me organize my thoughts.

An easy way to promote TTA, then is with a webpage that has suggested stats for the NPCs, CT-style world maps, and some significant deckplans (one or two of the Tukera ships come to mind).
Having recently run part of it as a solo campaign the things I most needed were:

Stats for named NPCs and mooks.

A big map for the mansion and grounds on Aramanx that allows you to run the battle there properly rather than having to abstract it.

The tying up of such obvious loose ends such as what the players do with the Wolblutn and its immensely valuable cargo when they capture it (can they keep it, claim salvage? - in either case the campaign would be seriously unbalanced).

Deckplans for the new Tukera, Akerut, Imperiallines and Oberlindes ships (you don't really need them in this campaign unless you are planning on turning pirate or hijacker but they would still be nice to have for other uses).

More info and adventure seeds for worlds closer to the Vargr border like Jesidipere - which are much more scantily described than Aramis, Pysadi, Aramanx, Lewis and Zila but sound like great places for Casablanca-like intrigue and pirate lairs.

A little more detail on the Imperial Navy and Scout units in the subsector (is there really just one squadron of cruisers to patrol and defend a whole frontier subsector?).

Ship encounter tables tailored to the subsector.
Originally posted by alte:
Ship encounter tables tailored to the subsector.
Character generation tables tailored to the planet.

Not a major revision of the rules--not that at all. What I'm talking about is a tweak of the available skills, here and there, for different careers--based on which planet in the subsector your character calls home.

Some careers could be banned on certain planets. For example: Maybe Scouts can only hail from worlds with scout bases unless the character submits to the draft and lands a "Scout" result. Some chargen careers might be the only place where a character could earn a certain skill in chargen.

As the doc in my sig implies, I tend to do this type of thing in my own campaigns. It makes the universe more "real" and provides a more detailed background for the character (given the range and expense of making jumps, characters in the Traveller adventure are probably citizens of the subsector). They would "know" more about the campaign world--they weren't just "plopped" into the subsector by a Star Trek transporter.

See the doc in my sig for idea on how to do this.

Because I ran the TA as a solo campaign I wanted a variety of PCs and used a random homeworld generation system consisting of a series of D6 rolls.

I started by taking the big Spinward Marches map from Megatraveller and designating the starting world of the campaign (Aramis) and then rolled 2d6 - the first for direction and second for a number of hexes (same basic principle as for misjumps).

With each world on the resultant route (starting with Aramis itself) I rolled 2D-2 and if the result was less than the worlds pop stat made that the character's homeworld.

If you got to the end of the route without finding a homeworld you then rolled another 2D for direction and number of hexes until eventually you got one.

You could of course just build a big homeworld table reflecting pop and distance from start world instead but this would have been a lot more work.

Once homeworld was designated I then had another table to decide PC race (for the Spinward marches in general it went something like 2D: 2- Aslan, 3-5 Solomani, 6-9 mixed human 10-11 Vilani and 12+ Vargr with a +1 DM for the coreward subsectors and -1 for the trailward subsectors).

I also used the Vilani blood table from Vilani and Vargr.

I decided restricting recruitment to the Imperial Navy or Scouts to base worlds was way too restructive and just imposed a levy on final benefits to reflect the cost of a character getting from their homeworld to a base so they could enlist.

I didn't really let TL effect enlistment as IMTU its more of an economic indicator than a strict limit (unless the world is red zoned or otherwise isolated) - although I did make it and SOC a DM on ageing rolls.
alte's description of The Traveller Adventure was pretty good. The biggest problem I had with it was just getting the players to help steal the mcguffin. ("Why should we help a total stranger steal something!?") I made the stranger a good friend of one of the PCs in their past.

Personally, I still consider The Traveller Book and The Traveller Adventure to be Quintessential Traveller. In spite of their numerous flaws. (Maybe even because of their flaws. Their flaws are part and parcel of all of CT.)

If you want a hardcopy, it comes up on eBay reasonably often, and can usually be had for $20 if you are patient.

If, however, you are impatient, you can just order the Classic Traveller CD-ROM from the FFE website. That CD-ROM has both TTB and TTA, and all of the Books, Supplements, Advenutures, Double Adventures, Modules (Alien and otherwise), and Games.
Originally posted by daryen:
The biggest problem I had with it was just getting the players to help steal the mcguffin. ("Why should we help a total stranger steal something!?") I made the stranger a good friend of one of the PCs in their past.
HERE'S how I've been handling the Traveller Adventure.

One of my players rolled up a Marquis. Why would a Marquis be involved with a tramp freighter and the events that occur in the Traveller Adventure?

I had to get creative.

S4, from your descriptions of the early parts of this adventure, I would say that you did a bang-up job. Any chance you will post further summaries?