Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Traveller Itch

I'm starting to get the "Traveller Itch" again.

I need to find some way to run a campaign. My home group is busy with Swords&Wizardry (or Pathfinder as a fallback) and is by and large not hugely SF friendly. My work crew might be mobilized for a once-a-week session if I ask nicely, but we may need to "go Mongoose" (MgT) or even T20, since I didn't get the idea that everyone was fully on-board with Classic's "Old School" (that is, "Mostly GM fiat with few hard rules") feel.

I'd like to use the "Twilight's Peak" adventure as the framework for a merchant campaign. I ran this adventure once decades ago for a group of impatient teenagers (I was also an impatient teenager at the time), and I think we missed out on a lot of the fun of the slowly unrolling story. Though one of my friends still teases me about a planet-bound search we were playing where I forgot to reveal one of the most important facts to them. Something along the lines of, "You can't leave the ATV safely, there's a blizzard." Sigh.

In order to make the campaign work, I'll need to get a player to agree to run the starship's accounting. Last time, I used an NPC (naturally, Alexander L. Jamison) as the captain and owner, and didn't have the players make any choices about mercantile matters. I don't plan to get too detailed about such matters, but on each world I'll present the crew with a list of available flat-rate and speculative cargoes, give them a moment to decide if they want to sell what's in their hold, etc. With any luck, that won't take more than 5min per world and hopefully people will take some interest in the ship's (and therefore their own) profits. The players will then get to choose how they plan to spend their time on-world - hanging around the starport (possibly getting some work from patrons or hearing useful rumors while they blow some cash), going out to "see the sights" (if there are any, and the local law allows it), or whatever else may come up.

The part of space Twilight's Peak is set in is a chain about 20 worlds long, which at normal rates of travel means their journey will take a year or so. Some worlds we'll be able to bang through in 10-20 minutes of game time, some may require hours.

I'm sure this is just another of my pipe dreams, and like so many of my other plans will either come to naught or aggravate my state of mind.  I dunno, I'll float the idea around and see if anyone bites. The usual office game is off for a few weeks anyway, so maybe....

As a side note, the by-the-book "cost of being alive for a week based on your social standing" rules will definitely be in effect, but some of the worlds that are being visited are decidedly unpleasant, so I might do something like "the lowest of Social Standing, World Population, or Tech Level" since many worlds won't be able to support a high-society lifestyle to begin with. ("Wow, are you wearing a Pirema jumpsuit? That's just sad, man.") I'll have to work out rules for things like refusing to leave the ship. ("I don't care, I'm not going out into the sulfuric acid these idiots call an atmo!")