Friday, March 1, 2013

A Traveller Patron

Here is a simple patron idea I had, originally designed for Mongoose Traveller, but usable in any system if you disregard some of the notes. I haven't followed the normal "options 1-6" format, though anyone using this should feel free to explore all sensible options, because there are a great many places this encounter could go off the rails, and I've only explored a few. I haven't run this one, so I can't say how it works out in practice. If you decide to inflict it on your players, let me know what did and didn't work.

PATRON - A Snake in the Grass

In the Startown tavern of a high Law Level world, a man approaches the players with an offer:  Retrieve a duffle bag from a free trader currently in port for 2000Cr. This bag contains some personal effects, and he claims that he was unfairly fired from the ship's crew and not allowed to retrieve his goods. He will suggest that the players pose as prospective employees (for his old job) and during the interview, get his bag for him.

Referee's Information:
The patron is a liar and a thief. Last night at the tavern, he overheard the actual crewman talking about a bag with (valuable item) that his "lucky dog" bunk mate had acquired. The crewman had already told the captain that he was quitting his job, and since he was leaving on good terms he was going to clean out his stateroom the next day. Unfortunately, that crewman was locked up on a drunk and disorderly charge the previous evening, and will be locked up for 48 hours, giving 

The players can try any technique they want to gain access to the crewman's stateroom, but Starport security is high and the captain is a busy man who will not give tours of his ship to just anyone. The captain is indeed searching for a new crew member, but if the characters ask about the previous crewman, the Patron's story won't match up.

If the players manage to impress the captain and don't sort out the core deception, they should be able to get into the stateroom without any violence, and with some Stealth should be able to get the satchel out.  If they're caught, things could get dicey. Likewise, the captain will come looking for them at his departure time. The subsequent events are up to the Referee.

If the players return with the duffle, the Patron will try to cheat them, claiming that he needs to "go get the money". If the players intimidate him successfully (Average Intimidate DM+STR) he will pay 2000cr (marginal success gets them 1000cr). If the players decide to keep the satchel or lie about retrieving it, the Patron will become VERY irate, and will possibly even attack the players with a ceramic knife.

If the players sort out the deception and inform the captain, he will be furious and will want to turn the 
Patron over to the local authorities. It will turn out that he's a known criminal who is wanted and has a 3000cr reward for his capture. The captain will let them use a spare ship's duffle for the deception. The Patron will be able to detect the deception and will produce a ceramic knife (Blade, but undetectable by local TL) and attack the players. The law enforcement officers will arrive in 1d6 turns afterwards.  On a Difficult Deception/DEX roll, the players can swipe the knife without the officer noticing.

Patron: Karl Mortensen 76957(9) (SS is a disguise - real number is 4, Steve Savage)
     Deception-2, Melee(blade)-1, Recon-2
     Ceramic Dagger (melee, 1d6)

Captain: Merchant Captain Rebart Shivvan 65A887
     Admin-2, Broker-3, etc.

Police Officer: Bran Thuragud 99977A
     Relevant skills at level 3
     Stun baton