Joe and Jay - A Classic Traveller campaign with my sons

I have recently launched my second Traveller adventure series, which may shape up into a coherent campaign, with my two boys. The older one is playing Joe Blasterson, a former army pilot officer who is a bit down-on-his-luck and working as a security officer at the local starport. My younger son is playing Jay Maverick, an explorer and hunter. 

from my hand-drawn map, using a generic Traveller map form
the Kingdom of Esparada

A continental-scale map of the planet.


Chapter One: Crashing the Rescue
   On their first outing, Jay and Joe were called in to assist a search-and-rescue operation. A merchant ship was attacked by pirates, and is coming down in a (semi-)controlled crash, on the uninhabited continent across the sea from the starport. Joe flies the VTOL plane, while Jay is there to help out with the searching. Along the way, the two find that they have a common interest in electronics. 
     Once the plane comes to rest near the downed ship, the mission leader instructs Joe and Jay to search the surrounding area for hostile animals or people. Having secured the perimeter, they then to pitch in to help locate and extract the crew from the wrecked ship. Jay discovers that the ship's contragravity car is missing, so he and Joe head off to find it. They spot the craft, which also crashed, and extract the crewman from the wreckage. As they are reporting in to the head of the mission, two significant things happen. First, they spot something a short distance away - a metal door, set into the side of the hill. This is very odd, as this part of the world is uninhabited. Second, their transmission to the team leader is cut off suddenly, leading Joe to suspect that the pirates may have followed the ship down. They return quickly to the crash site to find that the pirates have taken over. 
    Joe and Jay rush the pirate's shuttle, and capture it after a short gun battle. They release their captured team-mates, but at least one of the pirates avoided being taken; he flies away in the shuttle, leaving Joe and Jay a warning that they "will meet again". The two return to the starport with the rescued ship crew and their team mates.


Meet Joe and Jay

Joe Blasterson 68AA95 Age 34 4 terms
Lt Colonel, Army Air Corps
Rifle-2, Jet Aircraft-1, Air/raft-1, Mechanical-1, Electronics-1, Tactics-1, SMG-1
wants to be a stunt pilot and a millionaire

Jay Maverick 969754 Age 30 3 terms
Professional Hunter/Explorer
Hunting-2 Survival-1, Electronics-1, Air/raft-1, Computer-1, Laser Rifle-1
Wants to be the world's greatest explorer


Chapter Two: Joe and Jay Go Down some Stairs 


     On their last mission, Joe and Jay had spotted something unusual – a door build into the side of a hill, on an otherwise uninhabited continent. As soon as they got some leave time from work, they pooled some money, rented a contra-grav car, and flew back to the site to check it out.
     The metal double door was secured in the side of a hill, under an overhang, like a cave mouth. After levering the door open they found a shallow cave with a metal staircase installed in the back, leading down into darkness. They descended the stairs rifles in hand and at the bottom of the cavern they came upon another door. This one was built into the cavern wall. They forced this one as well and went through into  . . . a supply closet. The room, obviously part of a human habitat, was dimly lit and empty of anything beyond some broken boxes. It seemed like the habitat, with smooth rock walls and finished floors, was long since uninhabited. As they explored the hallway outside the closet, Joe opened an interior door and found himself face to face with a very active mining robot of some kind, brandishing a whirring drill at him! A quick dodge, and a few shots from his trusty rifle showed the robot who's boss. So maybe there was someone here still! 

     Now moving more cautiously, they went further into the warren of rooms and passages. The caves were dimly lit from overhead lights, silent and very dusty. The complete lack of wind means there's dust everywhere, but there's very little moisture, so the floors are all gritty, making it impossible to move silently. They split up for a short while, Joe explored an empty mess hall, while Jay looked into a private quarters room and discovered and occupant – an fourteen year old girl named Clara. She can't really tell them where she came from, she's always lived here! The guys learn that there is a human colony living in hiding on the lower level, in fear of the robots that were originally meant to excavate space for the humans to live. Somehow the robots and their central computer got the idea that the adult members of the colony were a threat and began attacking them. Even stranger, the robots ignored the children. Now there are only children left! Clara doesn't know how many robots there are, since she can't count, but it's a lot.
      Joe and Jay followed Clara through the cave complex, dodge a few more robots, and slip through a secret door into the lower level. There they find a hydroponics garden tended by about twenty kids, including her brother Rory, all ranging from eight to eighteen years old. It has been years since they've had any adults around, and they have been living at subsistence level, fearing to often venture past the secret entrance.
     The guys instantly agree that they should lead the children outside, and get them back to Esparada. They led the parade of children back to the secret door, and reviewed the plan: keep moving no matter what happens, and let Joe & Jay handle the robots. Clara and Rory both knew the way to the supply closet, so the kids could keep going even without Joe & Jay. A group of that size, strung out along the corridors and passages, over grit and pebble-strewn floors, makes noise. It didn't take long before one of the big security robots got onto their trail. Joe dropped back and held it up at the bottom of a staircase, trading shots (the robot had a laser drill) and finally knocking it out. At the head of the column, Jay also encountered a robot, but blocked it into a side passage, allowing the kids to rush past to safety. With more robots closing in, Joe & Jay “made big feet” for the closet and the emergency exit stairs. One of the big security robots began clanging its way up the stairs after them. Joe put some more holes in it but it kept coming, so they huffed and puffed to the surface and slammed the outer door on it. 

     With the robot bashing and drilling its way through the door, the guys shepherded the kids (none of whom had ever been outside before) into the nearby woods to hide. Jay loaded up their contra-grav car with some of the kids and flew off, depositing them in the relative safety of the crashed ship from the week before. While in the air, he got a radio signal back to the starport at Esparada, and called for help to transport the kids. Meanwhile, Joe watched the door, and at the first sign of the robot, opened fire, eventually disabling it. Then he & Jay flew the rest of the kids to the crash site, where Esparadan Search-and-rescue met them, and carried them away to Esparada city.
     The story made the local news net, and Joe & Jay were suddenly minor celebrities. Local churches and public service offices took the children in, and the guys led a well -equipped team back to the cave system to clear out the robots, and open the habitat for study; none of the children had very much idea how the whole thing got started. That was a mystery for another day. 


Many Adventures later . . . 
After a whole bunch of other stuff . . .

Joe & Jay found themselves at the climax of the adventure, in downtown Esparada city, the only two defenders against two giant robots that had crashed into town. The robots had been launched by Unknown Nefarious Agents from a secret base on the moon, with Joe & Jay rocketing after them in an air/raft which nearly shook itself apart during re-entry. They chased the robots down the main street and damaged one, but while rescuing a civilian from falling off a rooftop, the robot blasted their car, and they crash-landed on the street. 
Joe (left) & Jay (right) represented by LEGO minifigs.


 They took cover behind some parked vehicles, when lo and behold, an old friend from Starport Search & Rescue arrived in his CG vehicle, and the guys were back in action! 
Joe & Jay vs. the Killer Robots!
 
The Robots are Vanquished!

Eventually the robots were bested, and the city was saved!  But now Joe & Jay are famous, and too well known (they're heroes!) to continue to work as secret agents. We decided to let them retire, and play a different game for a while. 


Some time Later . . . 

Joe and Jay are Travelling now, and have left Esparada behind for a while. Joe wants to get a TAS membership but isn't sure he can raise the Cr 1,000,000 entry fee. So they're looking for adventures that might get them an honorary membership.

They arrived on Kemasiik, in Holtzmann's Corridor. They checked at the local TAS hostel about jobs, but got no leads, until an unidentified man approached them, and said they should visit a local nightclub at a certain time that evening. After an encounter with the local bureaucracy (local Law Level is 11!) they arrived at the nightclub. Eventually their contact met them and led them to a waiting vehicle. Upon arrival at a non-descript office building, they met another man who represents the Kemasiik shadow government. For the last fifty years the planet has been economically controlled by nearby VanGoff's World, which runs Kemasiik down while profiting their own business interests. The shadow government wants to throw off VGW's control. They ask Joe & Jay to kidnap some vacationing business heavyweights by posing as their flight crew, and take them to a secret airfield. There, the shadow government can take them as leverage against the VGW overlords. 

The plan went okay but the passengers have realized Something Is Up. Someone in the entourage seems to be on Joe & Jay's side, but someone else has produced a pistol and is firing into the cockpit area. Can Joe get the plane down safely? Can Jay neutralize the gunman?

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