Thursday, October 29, 2015

Why have high-tech Jack armor?

Armor TL Modifications for CT

It is common in the development of a technology that its earliest incarnations are bulkier, more expensive, and less efficient than later 'upgrades'. In High Guard, there is a progressively lower cost in credits and tonnage to apply a given level of armor to a ship. Although the Traveller Book does not discuss this, It makes sense that for personal combat equipment there can be a similar decrease in cost & weight as technology progresses.

Here I'm going to talk about upgrading PC's armor, by speculating on increases in function at higher tech levels. For simplicity's sake I am not going to introduce any new armor types – everything will reference the standard armor 'types'.

"Man, nothing's gonna hurt me in this suit. Wait, why can't I move my arms?"

There's an article in Dragon magazine which recommends tech level improvements to standard Traveller gear. The general concept as I recall it is for each TL past introduction, discount 10% from one of various factors – weight, price, effectiveness, size; to a maximum reduction of 99%

I have always understood the two sub-types from Bk4, Flak Vest (Cloth+1) & Cbt Env Suit (Cloth-1) as being slightly worse & slightly better respectively. So there is canon grounds for modifying and bettering personal armor.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Failed Colony - A 76 Patrons format adventure

The Failed Colony

This is another contest entry I wrote a few years ago; cleaned up and expanded. 
Patron: Businessman/Investor Anton Sharrett
Location: Mavramorn (Holtzmann's Corridor 0605)

Required skills: any, technical skills helpful
Required equipment: none

The situation:
The patron, Anton Sharrett (776999, Age 42) has recently acquired at auction the ownership of a failed colony on an in-system moon, Mavramorn-VII-C. M-VII-C is an airless planetoid, so the colony is a sealed habitat. The PCs are part of a group hired to travel to the habitat and conduct an initial assessment. They will be transported to the location by shuttle or the PC's own craft; their goals are to assess damage, get the life support and other machinery working again, and begin cleanup in advance of a more dedicated construction team.

The habitat was sold at government auction, and is certified to have failed for political/economic reasons rather than disease or disaster. Payment will depend upon the skills a character brings to the expedition, technical skills will be most valued. Sharrett offers Cr 2,000 per person plus salvage.

In addition to the PCs, there are two other members of the team
Jean-Pierre Grantham: A78765, Mechanical-2, Forgery-1, Bribery-1
Mechanics tools, vacc suit Gregarious, friendly but utterly self-centered

Brandy Warwick: 698898 Electronics-2, Computer-1, Handgun-1
Electronics tools, hand computer, Vdist commo, task-oriented, quiet, looking for regular work

Sharrett will not be there in person, but can be contacted by radio from the transport ship. He has agreed to grant salvage rights to the characters for any personal (i.e. non-structural) items left behind. If it isn't bolted down, the PCs can take it.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Amber Zone - a Hostile Takeover

I wrote this adventure last year as a contest entry, and shared a snippet of it on my blog. Now I've edited it, and fit it into my TU, in Holtzmann's Corridor. 

A Hostile Takeover

Player's Information:
The PC's are contacted by a business factor on Dekalb (TL-9), looking for a small team to infiltrate a mansion. The Board of Directors of the Intertec Corporation, LLC, have a problem. The CEO of the corporation, Mr. Hanse Cyris has been out of touch for weeks, and hasn't been seen in person in months. He was always reclusive, but this is the longest he's ever been gone. The corporation is facing a financial crisis occasioned by the CEO's absence & non-leadership. The Board has voted Mr. Cyris out, but the local law requires that he be present at the company offices to handle the transfer of power.

Mr. Cyris' last known whereabouts is his mansion at the edge of the city, which sits in a secured, walled compound. The PCs are hired to deliver the CEO to the company offices. They are authorized, as contract employees, to employ all necessary force to secure Mr. Cyris unharmed and bring him to the offices. The Board provides the group with a dossier on the Mr. Cyris, so he can be positively identified when they find him. The mansion is technically corporation property so they are not trespassing. The Board requests that the building itself be damaged as little as possible, but expect some damage as Cyris had installed numerous security measures without advising the Board; he was known to be very concerned about his personal security. Payment will be Cr 10,000 per man, plus any hospital expenses. Excessive damage to the mansion will be deducted from the pay. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Mercy Ships for the TAS

In my TU, when the TAS comes into possession of a starship, whether purchased or received as a donation, it can be refurbished and converted into a mercy ship. These ships are crewed by TAS employees, and operate on regular in-system and interstellar routes, bringing routine or emergency medical care to any needy party. The ships are funded by the TAS, the Church and private donations. They are mobile field hospitals, and free clinics, so no one is expected to pay them directly.

The TAS hires people to crew the ships, offering anywhere from 1/2 standard wages to normal, with 1,2 or 4 year contracts. Potential employees can check at a TAS office if there are billets that need to be filled, and request an employment interview. The player should present the referee with relevant skills & experience to build a case for +DMs on the Reaction table, with a reaction of 9+ indicating a job offer. Once hired, the PC is obliged to fulfill the contract; the TAS will not overlook their employees skipping out or engaging in criminality.

The mercy ship can be a good campaign framework for a solo PC; a group of PCs might be able to provide most of the ship operator positions, and have an NPC crew providing medical care. In either case, the referee can direct the PCs to just about any system with the TAS as patron. In the course of providing medical aid, all manner of emergencies and side adventures can be introduced.

Mercy ships will be most commonly encountered in systems with lower populations, lower tech levels, and poorer starports (D, E, & X); as these systems will have less access to quality medical care. Any solar system will have its outposts and settlements on moons, planets or planetoids away from the mainworld, where life is rougher, and help may be far away. On the standard CT Starship Encounter Table, the referee can substitute a mercy ship for any listed encounter, or add a W for mercy ship wherever a dash appears on the table. 

From Adventure Class Ships Volume II, there is the Kurgilash-class Medical scout. 
Kurgilash not pictured, cover art is a Type-T Patrol cruiser.

In my TU, there is also the St Lucy class ship, similar in design to the type Y Yacht.