Monday, February 29, 2016

Where do I sign up? Becoming a Warden in my TU

Here we will learn how a Traveller gets to earn the title of Warden.

Becoming a Warden is not a career in the normal CT sense. The TAS only hires veterans, those who have experience and a record of public service.

Applying to join the Wardens is a lengthy process. The applicant is interviewed extensively, including by priests and monks with spiritual insight to spot the selfish or unstable. The player and his referee should discuss the reasons for joining the program, and if the referee is persuaded, let the process proceed.

Warden training takes one full year. Using the CT experience rules, the Warden-in-training receives one level of Liaison skill (they are supposed to peacefully resolve disputes) plus one level of skill from this list (roll 1D6):
  1. Medical
  2. Administration
  3. Leadership
  4. Legal
  5. Unarmed Combat
  6. Survival
Payment will never be great, but the service offers room and board year round at TAS facilities. Annual salary is equal to Retirement Pay, as if the PC had served one additional term in their service. Minimum salary will be the same as for five terms. Long-serving Wardens will see pay rises on the same term basis.

Once the trainee has completed the first year, they graduate and take assignment in a specific world/system. Transfers are possible after one year of a four-year term of service. Wardens can retire at the start of any four-year term. The last thing the trainee has to do before taking assignment is to take the Warden's Oath, in the presence of a representative of the TAS and a priest, and recite from memory Psalm 82: 3-4.

The Warden's Oath

I am a Warden.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Bring me the Hydrospanner! Using Spare Parts on Starships

Spare Parts!  Traveller has always been light on the crunchy details, and particularly on the technobabble of starship components. Keeping that in mind, here's some simple ways to make repairing a ship a role-playing opportunity, instead of just rolling dice.

Ship operators are wise to lay in a few tons of “spare parts” - pipes, tubes, wires, plates, mechanical assemblies, etc. These do not have to be specified, unless the players or referees want to. These will take up space in the cargo area, but some things could be argued to be held in the ship's locker.
So come on, Mister Chief Engineer, get busy fixing the Jump Drive!
After a ship is damaged in combat or after a breakdown (see the article “Starship Malfunctions” in JTAS #15), repairs will consume the spare parts in one-ton lots. The referee can determine how many lots of parts get used up, depending on the nature and severity of the damage.

Spare parts are usually purchased at a starport, on a world of ship's TL or better. If a ship is going to spend a lot of time in an under-developed region, it should have lots of spare parts aboard.

Standard parts lot: Cr 1000 x (TL-7). e.g. A lot of TL-10 spare parts costs 1000 x (10-7)= Cr 3000.

Spare parts can be scrounged anywhere (see the illustration above), with Streetwise skill providing a bonus to finding them. Scrounged parts can cost far less or far more than standard. PCs should be encouraged to negotiate deals for pricing; NPCs may demand the PCs do a 'job' for the parts. Qui-gonn Jinn could have negotiated with Watto for the hyperdrive and avoided the whole podracing distraction. 

Of course, any time the referee wants to he can decide that a specific bit of technobabble is not available in the spare parts stores. The PCs will then have an adventure to track down the necessary part.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Psionics and Technology and My Traveller Universe

For some time, I've considered my TY to be too focused on political interactions, lacking in the elements that make adventures more fun. In an effort to change that, I've decided to bring psionics into my TU in a formal and structural way. I will have more characters & NPCs with psionic talents, and more of the 'special' talents like I wrote about here.

In my review of the Amber Zone adventure Thoughtwaves, I mentioned that I don't have an Zhodani analogue, a society that embraces psionic talents. Well, now I do. The Solaris Alliance, an insular society, has incorporated psionic talents into their culture. Additionally, the Alliance has pioneered the intersection of psionics and technology. In this post I'm talking mostly about the psi/tech connection.

I can find only three psionic technology objects in CT canon: the psi shield helmet (Book 3) a ship-scale psi screen (Adv 8, Expedition to Zhodane) and the concept of 'flicking' (AM 4, Zhodani) to activate a computer. I want more. For starters the Alliance has: 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Diplomatic Service - a 76 Patrons style adventure

76 Patrons Diplomatic Service

The Zhodani Base is hosting another 76 Patrons Adventure writing contest!  This is an entry I wrote for the 2012 contest.
Patron: Ambassador Eidelson of Kemasiik

Location: Van Goffs World, in Holtzmann's Corridor

Skills required: weapon skills, reconnaissance skill, intrusion skills

The urban environment creates lots of opportunities, and lots of security headaches.

The PC's are hired by Sterling Eidelson, the Ambassador of Kemasiik on Van Goff's World. The political climate is getting hotter, with local opinion of Kemasiik's bid to separate from Van Goff drawing increased public scorn. Ambassador Eidelson is concerned for his staff's safety, and wants the embassy's security measures tested. The PCs are promised Cr4,000 and official thanks for their work.

The Chief of Diplomatic Security, Ajay Mirgain, will supervise the exercise. The PC's are given 72 hours to conduct surveillance, then they must attempt to breach the embassy's security, show the white flag and end the exercise. The CDS supplies them with battery-pack low-power laser weapons to use; a PC with mechanical skill can disguise them. The PCs and all embassy personnel will wear laser sensors at all times, so that the intruding team can simulate a shooting attack and security staff can counter. Whether or not the attack succeeds, the PC's will have accomplished their task by confirming the extant security measures or revealing weaknesses that can be corrected.