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Kyle Schuant
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Husband. Father. Trainer. In that order.
Husband. Father. Trainer. In that order.

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Beginning 2019.02.05.1900 and running for ten weeks. Open game table, maximum 6 players, first come, first served, bring dice, snacks and your wits!
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Authour Campaign, session 8 of 12 - "Stand by and prepare to be looted."

Last night the crew of the Hannibal jumped from Asimov to Anthony system, carrying 5 passengers, one special cargo, and 2 Asimovite guards for it. Approaching the system's gas giant Chthon to do a slingshot to save fuel and time on the way to Anthony, they saw an armed trader ship in orbit. Faced with the choice between diverting and taking two weeks rather than three days, or taking their chances and zipping past the waiting ship, against the advice and wishes of their Asimovite guards, they chose a third way: their unarmed ship would drop into an orbit with it.

The Daisy proved to be a pirate ship. "Stand by and prepare to be boarded. We intend to loot you. Do not resist and your ship and crew will be unharmed."

Of course, they fought. At the end of it all the Hannibal had lost its engine, its ship's computer, the hull was riddled with holes and warped sections, with all the fuel and atmosphere venting into space and half the cargo destroyed, the ship was a crippled wreck. Five passengers were dead, including the guards, and three of the crew. The Daisy had its turret destroyed and some minor hull damage. and all nine of its pirate crew were shot dead.

The crew happily discussed selling one ship to pay to repair the other. However, Anthony is a civilised and lawful system, with a planetary navy and system rescue, and questions will be asked. Meanwhile, the country of Douglas in the Bradbury system has a 10 million credit bounty on their heads, and it's possible that the people of Ford from Gibson in their Vanguard-class ship Vengeance will make their way back from their misjump. If they do, I will play this soundtrack.

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Maybe the old scifi thing of every system having habitable planets isn't so far from the truth?

quoted on the Blue Zones website:

A big tough Mexican man married a good-looking Mexican lady and, after the wedding, laid down the following rules: “Honey, I’ll be home when I want, if I want, and at what time I want, and I don’t expect any hassle from you. I expect a great dinner to be on the table unless I tell you otherwise. I’ll go hunting, fishing, boozing, and card playing when I want with my old buddies and don’t you give me a hard time about it. Those are my rules. Any comments?”

His lovely new bride said, “No, that’s fine with me. Just understand that there’ll be sex here at eight o’clock every night—whether you’re here or not.”
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​​Episode 1.07 - Deon's Lament
S​tarring ​Keira, Simon, Paul, Daniel, Patrick, Jon, Deon

​The Hannibal set off from The People's United Revolutionary Republic of Chandler (day 200) arrived at Bradbury (day 215), which is a planet on a 30 degree inclination orbit about the blue gas giant Oculus, itself orbiting the main sequence sun.

Chandler 0306 C677799-5 G Ag
Bradbury 0204 C624779-7 G

Listening to radio boadcasts revealed that the world was balkanised, with the two main factions being the Union of Douglas, which was some sort of high law level representative democracy, and the Convocation of Ray, which was a moderate law-level religious dictatorship worshipping Oculus, probably of slightly lower technological level. No signs of battle were immediately visible on the ground, however they did see one satellite disappear in a burst of x-rays as they approached the world.

They determined to land at Douglas, and as they approached they were warned there was a 5,000Cr fee for landing and that they would be inspected for contraband. On landing and talking to the locals, they found the least dishonest broker they could, and discovered that everything in Douglas required a contract (their expression of law level A). The representative government was an auctionocracy, where individuals, corporations, organisations and so placed bids for membership of the 10-person Cabinet running the country day-to-day, the 100-person Senate proposing and amending laws, or the 1,000-person Assembly approving and rejecting the laws. To fight the war the Assembly had voted that all non-taxpayers could be conscripted, which is to say all the poor people. A contract was required for the crew's on-world toilet use for the duration, and a 1-credit charge each time they went. A contract was required to eat at any one of a particular chain of restaurants. A contract was required with the broker, of course.

While in the apparently-ubiquitous Devil's Bar, the place outfitted in red leather, red velvet and black trim, and served by wait staff dressed as devils, they were approached by a redheaded woman who said, "You are the crew who messed up Gibson, aren't you?"
"We are."
"Excellent. I am looking for a crew of off-worlders who are... negotiable morals."
"That's us," the crew replied in unison.
She was a spy from the Convocation, and explained that Douglas had a nerve gas research facility on a planetoid about Oculus, and the Convocation wanted a canister of the nerve gas, and the lab notes about its manufacture and use. The Convocation could provide neither arms nor men, still less ships or other open assistance, but could supply the co-ordinates of the rock, a plan of the base, a pass/cover that the Hannibal was a supply ship, and she further explained a passenger was supposed to take the ship back with them, though she didn't know who that was. The fee on return with the goods would be 500,000Cr.

"We should have a contract," Deon said.
"You want a contract for an espionage mission?" she replied. "Do not take us for Douglasers. Because Douglasers are deceitful, dishonest, greedy, grasping, malicious and thieving by nature, they must be bound to each-other by contracts enforced by court and police. But we in the Convocation are honourable, and a handshake is enough."

After much back and forth the crew agreed to this and flew off to the rock. On approach they were lit up by AAA radar and challenged, and they gave their passcode and "mission." They landed without incident at the base and began offloading the "cargo", which was mostly fruit and liquor from Chandler. They were welcomed by a couple of cargo handlers, and together they drifted in to the cargo airlock in their 0.001G. They went inside and into the mess for dinner, while a couple of crew members who'd hidden among the fruit emerged in their suits and started sneaking around to the back of the base where the lab was.

Dan and P​aul found a rear airlock and used the manual override to wind open the outer door. Inside the airlock they found six 44 gallon drums with biohazard markers on them. Inside through the hatch port they saw much consternation among scientists in yellow hazmat suits, who evidently had not expected visitors. They tried to open the inner hatch to vent the lab into the void, but found it was mechanically impossible to do so with the outer hatch open. They closed the outer hatch, opened one of the drums of whatever material it was, then opened the inner hatch. As a sticky yellow liquid flowed out into microgravity through the inner hatch door, Dan and P​aul came in, P​aul blowing away a scientist with his shotgun and then losing control, tumbling over. A second scientist approached to disarm him, and regaining control P​aul wasted him with his cutlass, droplets of blood oscillating across the room. The other scientists milled about in confusion.

There they found a manufacturing line of nerve gas, and found a dozen complete containers, along with a data pad all about Alpha-234, a deadly nerve agent that had been tested on conscientious objectors (who had of course signed a contract consenting to this).

Inside alarms went off, orange lights flashed and a recorded voice announced "contaminant leak, the base is now in lockdown." In the mess, most of the people fled to their rooms and bolted up, while six went to lockers, put on body armour, got out shotguns and loaded them up. General Keira stepped up and took control, using her long military experience to sound like she knew what was happening. She took two guards to the lab headquarters, they passed her in. ​Pat stepped in with them, and shot dead one of the guards, and then the other. Scientists in hastily-garbed hazmat suits milled about, and one turned to a comms computer - they shot him, too.
​​
Looking at the comms computer they saw that a message had been sent "BASE UNDER ATTACK COMPROMISED".
"DETAILS."​​
"MISTAKE", Keira typed back, "NO PROBLEMS HERE."
"SEND AUTHENTICATION CODE 312."
Keira looked about for the nearest trembling scientist and put a gun to his head. "What's the code to give the all clear?"
He shook and stammered and looked in his drawer for the paper taped there with his passwords. There were six. "Um, I think it's the first one."
"You think? Are you lying to me?" she pressed the muzzle meaningfully against his head.
"I don't remember!"
"Send it."
He sent it. There was no reply.

The crew of the Hannibal were in control of the facility - for now. They took their nerve gas to the Hannibal, and stored it in unused vaccsuits. While doing so they looked more at the data pad, and saw that the passenger they'd been scheduled to take was one Dr Zhukov - the head of the facility, supposed to bring with him a nerve gas canister and report on progress. They could in fact have got all they wanted without so much as a word in anger.

They got back in their ship with their genocidal cargo, and taking off went and turned their fission rocket's thrust onto one of the automated AAA lasers. As it melted away the other one started shooting at them, first missing and then striking and destroying some 10 tonnes of fruit cargo. Lastly they plumed the base, vaporising much metal and rock and almost one hundred people... again. As they plumed the fusion reactor powering the facility it occurred to them something bad might happen, and they pulled away around the other side of the asteroid. A bright light was seen eclipsed by the peanut-shaped rock, then a great crack appeared and a bright light as they did a hard burn away, the two halves of the asteroid pulling apart under the force of a one megaton explosion, and sending many rads the way of the crew.

They returned to Bradbury and approached the Convocation spaceport, asking if they were expected. Half an hour and most of an orbit later they were told to come and land. At the starport they were greeted by their spy friend, "You guys certainly made it obvious. Thankyou, you have done a great service to the Convocation. Now we will be able to work on countermeasures, and perhaps even an antidote." A hazmat team came aboard, searched out the hidden canisters, and decontaminated the place.

Deon wished to haggle over the prices, wanting extra for the other 11 canisters. "The deal is the deal," the spy said. The crew were particularly disgruntled that they were going to have to pay for the ship's repairs and their radiation treatment out of the 500,000Cr. "Well, we didn't ask you to nuke the place, destroy the planetoid and kill a hundred people," the redheaded Raywoman said.

"That's just what we do."

In space, no-one can hear you gratuitously murder people.
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This is one way to think of CT's SOC score.

I have often imagined the CT character sheet as an ID card combined with license card. At a glance, anyone inspecting it could know your abilities, and the things you are officially licensed to do professionally, and at what level. Of course, there may not be a license for Bribery and Streetwise, but...

"Actions that can now harm one’s personal credit record include not showing up to a restaurant without having cancelled the reservation, cheating in online games, leaving false product reviews, and jaywalking. [...] Citizens can earn bonus points up to the value of 200 by performing “good deeds”, such as engaging in charity work or separating and recycling rubbish. In Suzhou city, for example, one can earn six points for donating blood."

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The CT open game table at GoodGames Melbourne keeps going. We've had 6 sessions of a planned 12, and averaged 7 players. The players stole a (barely, with repairs) Jump-capable shuttle which was a holy site to the descendants of some of the colonists who'd come on that shuttle four centuries before, and have traded and battled against the vengeful colonists since.

Like most players, they are never happy with the high law level worlds.

With an open game table things tend to be more chaotic and there's more combat, usually pointless but fun anyway. At the worst, having an open game table for a few months widens your pool of players for a later more serious campaign. I strongly recommend it.
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Travellers TV show (about time travel rather than spaceships, sorry):

"You're an FBI agent who now spends half his time with a high school senior, his counsellor, a single mom, a heroin addict, a farmer, and - this one kills me - a mentally-challenged woman in the care of the state. Let's skip over the part where you pretend this makes any sense whatsoever."

And there we have adventuring parties in a nutshell.

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Last Wednesday we began a classic Traveller campaign. The players started in the Authour subsector on the planet Gibson [E567374-9 S G NI], all having been dumped there at the class E "spaceport" on mustering out from service. They met in a shuttle and decided to adventure together. The characters vary from the Marquis de Ordinaire [79666D ex-Navy 1 term, mustered out with no skills and a blade] to a 7-term merchant captain with a dozen skills and a free trader awaiting him 5 Jumps away on (or perhaps orbiting?) Huxley [X54277C-9 G Po]. Hanging out at Downport Bar they sought out work, and eventually decided to go with an archaeologist Jacquel Jamart who wanted them to help her confirm the existence of a buried colony ship from hundreds of years ago.

Out in a rocky desert they went digging, and along with some unfriendly locals taking potshots at them, they did indeed find such a ship, complete with an old fission reactor working at a low hum and sustaining perhaps a hundred colonists still in coldsleep. Venturing further into it, they came across the locked bridge, and cutting it open found themselves confronted with some sort of spider-limbed attack robot. And that is where we left the first session.

We had eight players show to the first session, including a couple who hadn't gamed for 20+ years, and 1-2 trying CT for the first time. I last ran an AD&D1e open game table, and over 12 weeks we had 13 players, 5 of whom came once, and 4 of whom continued into this game; attendance was as low as 3 and as high as 7, though 4-5 was typical.

So this coming week I don't expect 8 to the next session, more like 4-6 of last week's. Any local Travellers are most welcome to come along and give it a go.

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23/06/2018
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Good evening, boys and girls. A new face-to-face game of Classic Traveller (1977) is starting on Wednesday the 20th. As in the old-school tradition which I've done many times with AD&D1e, it's an open game table, players are expected to come and go.

The players will begin on Tartarus Base, a mining colony at the dead end of the subsector, and they want to get off, and soon.
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