T20 Traveller - The Kursis Charter (complete Aug 8th 2005)





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    T20 Traveller - The Kursis Charter (complete Aug 8th 2005)

    This story is based on the adventure of the same name included in the Linkworlds Cluster mini-sourcebook published by QLI. So it includes HUGE SPOILERS FOR THAT ADVENTURE.

    Traveller for D&D Types

    Traveller is a hard science fiction RPG which has been kicking around in various rule sets for years. It recently got a D20 version courtesy of QuikLink Interactive. I’m started out using the Lite version of their rules plus the pre-release Gateway Domain Sourcebook and some sample PDFs all stuck together with guesswork – much as I wanted to buy the full rulebook, it was sold out. I eventually got hold of it round about the time the party reached Miip.

    A few things you might need to know about the setting:
    • In Traveller, a hyperspace jump always takes a week and the better your engine the farther you go in that week – it ranges from 1 to 6 parsecs. There’s no FTL communication other than putting a message aboard a ship.
    • The predominantly human empire we play in comprises 11000 worlds and it takes about a year to cross. Authority is delegated through layers of nobility, until you get down to planetary level. Planets can run themselves pretty much how they like (barring outrages), the empire starts at the starport.
    • The adventure takes place in an unremarkable cluster of stars known as the Linkworlds, in the Ley sector of the Gateway domain in the year 993. Gateway domain is a border area onto other large polities, but the Linkworlds are well inside the border.
    • The domain is at peace, although it has been supplying military units for a border war elsewhere in the empire. 993 is a pretty good year, the height of empire.

    And the system:
    • You generally don’t start adventuring at level 1. Characters go through a semi-random prior career process, giving them a few levels in various classes at the start. A character might perhaps typically be level 4 to 8 when they start “travelling”.
    • No magic. Some minor psionics, which I’m not using.
    • For combat purposes, HP = CON irrespective of level. A shotgun blast in the chest is liable to kill you at level 4 or 20. Combat is best avoided if possible. A strong, well-chosen skill list is the key mechanic. That and good decision making will get you through.
    • There is much less increase in character “power” as you level than you’d find in D&D.
    Last edited by Morte; Friday, 12th May, 2006 at 04:48 PM.

 

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    The Starting Characters

    Sir David Shetland

    Class: Noble 1/Scout 8
    XP: 36,000
    Race: Mixed Humaniti
    Age: 46
    Sex: Male
    Height: 1.75 m
    Weight: 70 kg
    Description: Average build, short cropped blonde hair, green eyes, clean shaven.
    Homeworld: Ipsham (0533) Satyressia/Ley A594342-C
    Languages: Galanglic, Oynprith [Droyne]

    Abilities:
    STR 13, DEX 12, CON 10, INT 14, EDU 14, WIS 14, CHA 12, SOC 16

    Key Skills:
    Driving-6, Gather Information-13, Gunnery-10, Knowledge(Droyne)-5, Liaison-15, Pilot-7, P/Admin-7, P/Survey-12, Sense Motive-7, T/Astrogation-6, T/Communications-5, T/Computer-4, T/Mechanical-5, T/Medical-5, T/Sensors-15
    {Includes attribute bonuses but not skill-enhancing feats listed below (since they don't always apply).}

    Feats:
    Armor Prof (Light, Vac Suit)
    Vessel (Grav, Ground, Starship)
    Weapon Prof (Marksman, Ship's Weapons, Swordsman)
    Carousing - +2 to Gather Information in social situations
    Contact Specialist - +4 to all Liason or reaction checks when dealing with someone for the first time
    Jack of all Trades - use skills which require training as if character has rank 0
    Martial Training - +1 to BAB every 4 levels, currently +2
    Negotiator - +2 to all Liason and P/Administration Checks
    Noble Presence - use SOC bonus instead of CHA bonus for Leader and Liason checks
    Trustworthy - +2 to Liason and Gather Information when interacting with others

    Combat:
    Lifeblood: 10
    Stamina: 34
    Saves: Fort +2, Ref + 5, Will +8
    Attacks: BAB +6/+1, +1 DEX, +2 Martial Training
    No armour: AC 11, AR 0, Skill Check -0, Speed 9m
    TL-12 Hostile Environement Suit: AC 16, AR 5, Skill Check -3, Speed 3m (heavy load)

    Equipment / Possessions:
    Usual gizmos, assorted scruffy clothes, one smart noble outfit.
    Later gained a TL-12 Hostile Environement suit.

    Backstory
    Born into a noble family on a world with a dense, tainted atmosphere and 1000 inhabitants, most of whom are in the chemicals trade.

    Universtity application was such a spectacular failure (rolled a 1, presumably flashed the Dean or something) that he ran off and joined the scouts.

    Spent a few years doing assorted scut work, training, and eventually concentrated on planetary surveying and contact (both remote and in person).

    Took a period of detached service to fulfil some family duties (welcoming a Droyne enclave to his homeworld and liasing with them). Hence the noble level.

    Went back to the scouts, did a bit of quiet sniffing around the Sollies when the war started, and eventually got mustered out at 46.

    Won a merchie ship in a card game during his last week, and went off to find it. [I.e. swapped heavily mortgaged A2 Far Trader for all accumulated mustering out bennies.]

    Silea Crossflow

    Class: Merchant 7
    XP: 21,000
    Race: Luriani
    Age: 30
    Sex: Female
    Height: 1.65 m
    Weight: 62 kg
    Description: Volupturous, short black hair, blue eyes, second eyelid, exotic tattoos, webbed hands and feet.
    Homeworld: Daramm (0812) Spearhead/Ley A76AA76-E
    Languages: Galanglic, Standard Luriani, Old High Vilani

    Abilities:
    STR 12, DEX 10, CON 12, INT 16, EDU 17, WIS 10, CHA 14, SOC 8

    Key Skills:
    Driving-7, Entertain(Flute)-12, Intuit Direction-5, K/Interstellar Law-13, Liaison-12, Navigation-5, Pilot-15, P/Admin-5, Swim-10, T/Astrogation-13, T/Communications-8, T/Computer-13, T/Sensors-11
    {Includes attribute bonuses but not skill-enhancing feats listed below (since they don't always apply). Silea effectively has Pilot-19 when flying the Avarice Rewarded.}

    Feats:
    Armor Prof (Light, Vac Suit)
    Vessel (Grav, Ship's Boat, Starship, Watercraft)
    Weapon Prof (Marksman)
    Barter - +2 on Trader and Broker checks
    Hobby (Entertain (Flute)) - makes it a class skill
    Luriani racial abilities - dive long and deep, resist cold, skill bonuses etc
    Narrow Escape - instinctively avoid dodgy encounters in space
    Vessel Spec (A2 Far Trader) - +2 to Pilot checks in an A2 Far Trader
    Ship Tactics - add INT bonus to all ship attack and defense rolls
    Skill Focus (Pilot) - +2 to pilot checks

    Combat:
    Lifeblood: 12
    Stamina: 34
    Saves: Fort +5, Ref + 2, Will +4
    Attacks: BAB +1
    No armour: AC 10, AR 0, Skill Check -0, Speed 9m
    TL-12 Vac Suit: AC 13, AR 3, Skill Check -3, Speed 6m

    Equipment / Possessions:
    Usual gizmos, funky clothes, TL-14 vac suit, snub pistol, Cr3,000.

    Backstory
    Luriani are a human-related race who were geneered hundreds of thousands of years ago to be amphibious. They have an extra eyelid, webbed hands and feat, additional subcutaneous fat, they can collapse their lungs and seal off their eardrums to dive deep. They cannot normally interbreed with humans.

    Silea comes from their main world, from a poor background which was not quite poor enough to keep her away from the datanets. University was out of the question with family to support, so she signed up on a merchant ship.

    She has been working in space ever since for various small merchant outfits, turning into a real hotshot pilot. She is always looking to learn and to improve her skills.

    She seems very calm and measured, but it is whispered that she has been known to really lose it once in a while.

    Iain "Fish" Anderson

    Class: Merchant 6
    XP: 16,000
    Race: Mixed Humaniti (Luriani Verasti Dtareen culture)
    Age: 26
    Sex: Male
    Height: 1.70 m
    Weight: 69 kg
    Description: Stocky, short brown hair, blue eyes, clean shaven.
    Homeworld: Luur (0811) Spearhead/Ley A56A770-C
    Languages: Galanglic, Standard Luriani, Old High Vilani

    Abilities:
    STR 13, DEX 11, CON 13, INT 10, EDU 18, WIS 12, CHA 12, SOC 6

    Key Skills:
    Gambling-6, Liaison-6, P/Admin-6, Sense Motive-11, T/Computer-14, T/Electronics-14, T/Engineering-14, T/Gravitics-14, T/Mechanical-14, Trader-5
    {Includes attribute bonuses but not skill-enhancing feats listed below (since they don't always apply).}

    Feats:
    Armor Prof (Light, Vac Suit)
    Vessel (Grav, Watercraft)
    Weapon Prof (Marksman) - merchant class
    Barter - +2 to Trader and Broker checks
    First Aid - can use med kits untrained, acts as T/Medical-0
    Hobby (Sense Motive) - makes it a class skill
    Gearhead - +2 to T/Engineering and T/Mechanical when trying to break, fix or pervert a piece of equipment
    Jury Rig - fixes stardrives with chewing gum
    Miracle Worker - fixes stardrives with flavorless chewing gum
    Zero/low G adaptaion - reduces penalties for zero/low gravity

    Combat:
    Lifeblood: 13
    Stamina: 35
    Saves: Fort +5, Ref + 2, Will +5
    Attacks: BAB +1
    No armour: AC 10, AR 0, Skill Check -0, Speed 9m
    TL-12 Vac Suit: AC 13, AR 3, Skill Check -3, Speed 6m

    Equipment / Possessions:
    Usual gizmos, greasy clothes, TL-14 vac suit, shotgun, about Cr65,000 banked.

    Backstory
    The Versati Dtareen are a genetically standard human group living as part of the Luriani culture. They have the mentality but not the amphibious adaptations. Iain was dubbed "Fish" as a child when he tried to swim like the Luriani kids, and failed.

    He's an irreverent, awkward sod. He knows everything about machines (self-taught) and will tell you if you don't escape fast enough.

    He got a job on a freighter to get off his planet before somebody broke his legs and he's been hiding in engine rooms ever since.

    What Silea sees in him I don't know.

    Luan Derhayenne (NPC)
    Female Human (Imperial), age 34
    Medical doctor, financial investor
    Class(es) and skills are whatever I find to be convenient at the time.
    Last edited by Morte; Thursday, 20th November, 2003 at 09:03 PM.

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    So, uh, where are we?

    Map of the Linkworlds Cluster attached...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Kursis_Charter_Map2.gif  
    Last edited by Morte; Thursday, 28th August, 2003 at 04:11 PM.

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    Act I: Avarice Rewarded - Sir David

    [Background: The Imperial Interstellar Scout Service (“the scouts”) are a government service who explore and survey the galaxy, meet new people, and run the X-Boat network of data couriers across the empire. Scouts don’t retire, they go on “detached duty” and can be called up at need. The service occasionally lends detached scouts a small ship that would otherwise be in mothballs. They are very popular as a prior career for PCs.]

    Date: 128-993 Imperial.
    Location: Daggar’s Edge system (1425), aboard outgoing X-Boat bound for Shanape (1023).

    Karsis turned down the cabin music as she caught Cerenkov blue in the corner of her eye. A ship was coming out of jump, roughly where the incoming X-Boat was due to emerge. The vagaries of hyperspace had held it for two hours over median jump time, which was nothing unusual. She was already reaching for the radio enable when the tender opened her channel. It looked like time to get busy. She confirmed bearings to the tender and locked her data array on the incoming boat, starting the five minute meson laser transfer, then shook hands with the planetary data dripfeed to tell it the scouts were spacing out. Time to warn the other warm body…

    She hit the com to talk to the hitchhiker in the starboard berth. “Hello David. Our incoming boat has just come out of jump and I’m taking the feed. Please come up and strap in.”

    “Roger bridge, on my way” came back over the intercom. Half a minute later a small man in a not entirely scruffy IISS jumpsuit and an entirely scruffy brown leather jacket hopped through the bridge airlock and dogged it behind him. His eyes swept the controls as he slid into the astrogator’s chair and strapped down. He looked around the bridge, smiled, and let out a happy sigh.

    “Last trip on active duty, maybe?” Karsis asked him. He looked about fifty, a little grey at the temples. A real veteran, who’d made a name for himself of sorts in the service and finally gone on detached duty a month ago. Karsis was flying the last leg of his cadged ride to Shanape.

    “Could be that way” he replied. “I doubt they’re going to reactivate me at my age. Still, I have my A2 rust bucket to look forward to.”

    Karsis shot him a surprised look, taking her eye off the data monitor for a moment. “You’re going detached in a Far Trader?” Anybody with thirty years in the service, two decorations, and a “Sir” he didn’t bother with on the front of his name could probably arrange detached duty in some relatively funky hardware. How on earth did he end up with an A2?

    “It’s not assigned. It’s, um, my ship. Since I’ve got it, I thought I should travel in it.”

    “Oh” said Karsis. He was talking about seventy-odd megacredits’ worth of rust bucket, there. She made Cr 5825 a month. The “Sir” probably came into this… There was an awkward pause, which she filled by giving the jump plot a final sanity check against a paper star chart taped to the bulkhead. The computer pinged, her data was aboard. She swapped jargon with the tender and prepared to jump.

    As Karsis drew a key to unlock the covers for the jump controls, Sir David Shetland spoke once more.

    “I, ah, won the ship in a card game.”

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    Act I: Avarice Rewarded - Silea and the Fish

    Date: 132-993 Imperial.
    Location: Shanape system (1023), Shanape highport, spacers’ bar.

    “You think he’s coming back?” Silea ran one finger round the rim of her short glass as she finally asked the question.

    Fish looked deep into the 2D video wall, which passed for a window in this bar, and watched the 400 km/h stratospheric winds rip the top of a storm system over downport. “They should be able to fly through that no problems. This place is, what, tech thirteen?”

    “No, I mean, d’you think he’s got himself arrested or something? They’re a bit draconian down there.”

    “What, our illustrious captain? Surely he wouldn’t do anything to offend the local law.” His voice was closer to irony than sarcasm, but not by much. “Now, if you were suggesting that the bank caught up with him…”

    Silea absently unhooked her finger from his on the counter. “Better go and see if anyone repossessed the ship then. He’s thirty-two hours late. I suppose it’s time we looked into it.”

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    Act I: Avarice Rewarded - Master and Commander

    Date: 134-993 Imperial.
    Location: Shanape system (1023), Shanape highport, aboard the free trader “Avarice Rewarded”.

    Two days did not find Gani Hayeck, the absent master and commander. His personal communicator was out of service. The downport hotel he’d given as a contact knew nothing about him. His name didn’t show in any local news searches. When he’d been gone 48 hours, Silea reported him missing to the highport authorities. They echoed the report to downport, who passed it to local law, and it sat in the databases for a few hours before a downport security employee looked into it.

    Four hours later a highport security officer came to see them. It seemed that Hayeck had transferred to downport via grav shuttle on 130-993 as they expected. He did not check into a hotel at the downport or in the local area. He rode another grav shuttle back up to the highport and left the system in a low berth five hours later, aboard a jump 3 passenger ship bound spinward-rimward via the Harukaze system.

    There was no evidence of foul play, he had committed no crime, and neither the imperial nor the planetary authorities had any official reason to take an interest in him. But it rather looked as if…

    “He’s done a bleedin’ runner!” said Fish.

    “Do you have any reason to think… ?” the security officer raised an eyebrow and invited the other two to pour their hearts out.

    Silea glanced at Fish to quiet him and replied. “There’s nothing… sinister as such. But times haven’t been great aboard this ship. And I had a feeling that Hayeck might be quitting soon, with the new owner and all. I didn’t expect anything like this, though.”

    “New owner?” asked the security officer, and they explained some more.

    The Avarice Rewarded was owned, with five or six other vessels, by a private trading company based in the Delta quadrant. The company had bought it from a retiring owner-captain, and they’d acquired Silea and the Fish with the ship. The company put Hayeck in command, he’d talked his way into a speculative trading role rather than running a charter, and it had taken him about 18 months to make a thorough hash of it. The ship made no money and its maintenance was less than perfect. The captain had annoyed the laid-back Luriani and driven two less tolerant crewmembers (a gunner/deckhand/steward and a medic) to quit.

    It had come as no particular surprise when the ship was transferred to a new private owner “in settlement of a debt”, and the remaining skeleton crew ordered to Shanape for handover.

    “And now your captain has… departed suddenly” said the security man. “Do you think you could have a look at the command data and see if there’s anything important?”

    He’d need a warrant to insist on that, but Silea was just as interested he was and she had no real objections anyway. “I think that’s within my purview, as second officer with the captain missing” she said. She swivelled her chair and started tapping access codes.

    “Air-bleeding bastard. He’s raided the till.”

    The Avarice Rewarded had no money, no captain, no cargo, no business, no plan, six months to the next refit, half a crew, and a new owner due aboard any time now.
    Last edited by Morte; Tuesday, 2nd September, 2003 at 09:28 PM.

  • #7
    I've been waiting for a Traveller story hour... I have not seen to many around and I like this one so far... Are you writing a up the games as you play them or are you writing up a game thats been in progress for a while? I'm really just wondering how often we can expect updates. =)

    Sorry for spelling errors. I don't have Javascript on so I can't use spellchecker.

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    Originally posted by Bergoren
    I've been waiting for a Traveller story hour... I have not seen to many around and I like this one so far...
    So far so good then...

    Are you writing a up the games as you play them or are you writing up a game thats been in progress for a while? I'm really just wondering how often we can expect updates. =)
    It's just started. I hope to post something about once a week to keep up. The other half of session 1 should be along "soon" (in the next day or so).

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    Act I: Avarice Rewarded - Owner Aboard

    Date: 135-993 Imperial.
    Location: Shanape system (1023), Shanape highport, aboard the free trader “Avarice Rewarded”.

    The new owner took it pretty well. He came aboard, said hello, told them he was David and not Sir David, listened to the bad news, and finally responded with “Anything else?”

    “Do you need any more?” asked the Fish, grinning a bit.

    “That seems like enough trouble to be going on with…” he rubbed his chin.

    “What do you want to do?” asked Silea, biting off the “sir”.

    “Well, we’d better find some business hadn’t we. Better business than our friend Hayeck managed… Did he really try to make a living as a free trader this far from the frontier?”

    The two existing crew nodded glumly.

    “Well, perhaps we can sort something out. I know a few people here, between the scout base and the navy base.” He stopped rubbing his chin and started stroking his upper lip. “Maybe it’s time to buy a few drinks for my old pals… see if they can put me onto something. With all the reserves called up for the Solomani war there must be some holes they need to fill.” He came out of reverie. “Would you two be up for that?”

    The Luriani looked at each other, and looked back at him. “Why not” said Silea. Fish nodded assent.

    “Alright, I’ll get onto it when I’m stowed. And we’ll need the four sacred cows aboard. Which are you two, pilot and engineer?”

    “Right,” said Fish, “and Hayeck was supposedly the astrogator when he wasn’t losing money, but Silea did the real work. The medic quit, she couldn’t stand him. We had a gopher too, he looked after the passengers if we had any. He liked to think he was a gunner.”

    “Well, I don’t know if we’re going anywhere that needs a gunner, but I did get basic training once upon a time. About 20 years ago… And I can get wavered as a qualified astrogator. I don’t think anyone will quibble with 12 years doing exploratory surveys…”

    “We’ll need a qualified medic, if we’re to do any general merchant trade with passengers.” Silea knew her interstellar law, at least where it pertained to merchant starships.

    “I’d like a medic aboard anyway, just on principal. We’ll have to recruit one. It’s a big starport, it ought to be possible.”

    “Alright…” said Silea, slowly “but we haven’t got the credits for fuel since Hayeck ran, never mind speculative cargo or wages.” Her voice rose a little on the last word, as she realised how long in was since payday and how soon the next one was due.

    “I expect I can sort something out” said the new owner. “Let me get my stuff stowed and I’ll get on it.” He reached for the one modest bag he’d brought aboard and looked at the hatch leading back into the body of the ship. “Which cabins are you two using?”

    Fish looked at Silea, who looked at Sir David and spoke. “Cabin. We’re a couple. We’re through the hatch on the port side. First to starboard was Hayek’s, it’s got a command terminal.”

    “Oh right,” he said, “I’ll take that one then.” He grinned as he headed for the hatch, bag in hand.

    “Hey, who’s cooking if we get passengers? We need another trainee” called Fish.

    “I’ll do it. Scout’s cooking won’t kill anyone. Too often.”

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    Type A2 Far Trader Avarice Rewarded. 200 tons displacement.

    Fuel requirements: 44 tons
    Jump Capability: One Jump-2
    Manoeuvre Drive: 2 constant
    Cargo Capacity: 66 tons
    Passenger Capacity: 4 low berths, 10 staterooms (including crew)
    Crew: 4 standard ( Pilot, Astrogator, Engineer, Steward/Medic)
    Aramament: 2 hardpoints for standard turrets, one dual beam laser fitted, one hardpoint empty
    Ship’s Vehicles: none
    Ships Locker: emergency vacc suits, various survival gear, small arms, assorted junk
    Last edited by Morte; Thursday, 28th August, 2003 at 02:31 PM.

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