Saturday, June 10, 2023

Session Recap - gaming on the fly

 Several of the usual players were unable to make it to the session last evening, so I focused on the two who were there. Graham Clark and his sidekick known as C-418 are working for a Count on Holtzmann. We covered three weeks of in-game time. Most was routine work for the Count (in his vehicle fleet) In their free time they did some shopping and a little Trade & Speculation. They netted a profit, but not much adventure. 
Image unrelated, but still cool. I'm sure that creature exists somewhere in my TU.

As I was anticipating concluding an adventure begun the week before with the full group, I had nothing prepared ahead of time. What to do?  The answer is right there in The Traveller Book. I checked on Legal Encounters, Random Encounters and Rumors. All three of these give the Referee tools to generate adventures.

A random encounter with Tourists turned into a legal encounter! The tourists' reaction to the PCs was a 5, "Hostile, may attack." (What?) Now getting into a street brawl seemed unlikely so I concluded that the tourists got upset with the PCs for some reason, and were raising a ruckus in a public space. They were connected with the Lanzhouan consulate, and were yelling at the PCs in Lanzhouan, which neither of them speak. They never did understand exactly what the problem was, even after the local constabulary turned up to investigate the disturbance. It resolved with the PCs paying a fine, and nothing worse.

A second random encounter with Workers went better. The workers were subordinates of Clarks' in the Count's motor pool. A local festival was coming up and the workers (reaction: 10) wanted to include Clark in the merry-making, which consisted mostly of bar-hopping. The Startown Liberty supplement is a great resource for constructing downtown adventures. The night's drinking produced no bar fights (not with 10 guys to back them up!) but Clark and C4 picked up a juicy rumor. Local rich dudes with not enough to do organize contra-grav "drag racing" events outside the city, at which betting can net you big payouts. 

I asked the players what topics they sought Rumors about. I have discussed the Rumor Table before. Over two weeks of game time, they picked up two solid rumors about Treasure and Bounty Hunting.  One of the outer planets of the Holtzmann system might have surplus Navy equipment lying about for the taking. They plan to check that out in the future.
Bounty Hunting is legal,  and regulated through a Guild. All sanctioned hunting has to be run through the Guild, and in return the Guild offers assistance to hunters who have trouble with the law. I'd never considered that type of adventure before, but now that a player has asked for it, it is part of my TU and I'll codify some procedures for it.  

All of which is to say that we had a fun and entertaining evening of gaming, relying on nothing more than a few table in The Traveller Book. They have leads to follow up which can develop into more involved adventures. That is one of the beauties of Traveller. Simple tables with short entries to generate ideas, but leave the Referee with the freedom to turn that idea towards whatever is already going on in the game setting.
The players had choices to make, as in how they responded to what the Referee put in front of them. It was on the fly, but they were just as involved as I was. 

In fact, at the start of the evening I did have a kernel of an idea for an adventure to run. I consulted my Patron Mission table, which I've discussed before. It turned up the mission "guard vehicle". From there I got the idea for Clark & C418, who work in a motor pool, to be tasked with defending a vehicle belonging to their employer. That turned into the idea of unofficial & probably illegal contra-grav drag-racing.  Maybe they will get involved with the racing scene. Look back at how much adventure came from a Patron Mission to become a vehicle crew for an airship.

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