All posts by Library Bob

Librarian for 12 years, Traveller gamer since the early 1980’s.

Prison Broken

Patron: Government of Nebet
Skills required: combat skills, Administration, Legal
Equipment required: having a ship is helpful but not required
Location: Orval (Fessor 0203) E765674-5 Ag, Ni, Ri

The PCs respond to a public announcement that the government of Nebet, on the planet Orval, is looking to contract a number of bounty hunters. In the interview, the hiring agent explains that several weeks ago, a Nebetan prison facility was attacked by a group of mercenaries to engineer the escape of a particular prisoner, Cormac Harroway. During the attack, many of the prison staff & security personnel were injured or killed. The disorder allowed a number of other prisoners to escape, at least temporarily. The government knows the identity of the primary target of the raid; he is the son of an official in an Imperial corporation based on Fessor. The hiring agent provides the PCs with a complete dossier on Harroway, sufficient to recognize him on sight, and giving what data is available on his whereabouts. The dossier includes legal documents that should be sufficient to convince authorities on other planets of the legitimacy of the PC’s mission. The mercenary team of six men fled the planet in a used type-A trader, which has been identified by the Imperial consul on Orval. Little is known for certain about them, not even names. The dossier contains mostly photo prints of images taken during the prison break. The consul is unwilling to become too involved in the Nebetan plan except to confirm that Harroway was tried and convicted fairly under Nebetan law. Mister Harroway senior is influential enough that going after him directly is considered too politically dangerous, (likely to trigger a major diplomatic incident) but the son is a convicted felon with time left on his sentence, and Nebet wants him back.

As part of the contract for the bounty, the PC’s will be licensed & bonded as non-citizen agents of the Nebetan government, which grants them limited law enforcement powers and some political cover while operating in Imperial-controlled space. They will be backed up while pursuing their legitimate target; any side trips or harassment of third parties will not be protected. But in any event, the amount of political clout Nebet can exert off-planet is very limited. The PCs should endeavor to stay within the local laws wherever possible. Their mission is to return the fugitive, and if possible, bring in the mercenaries to face trial for murder and other charges. The government is offering MCr 5 for Harroway, and MCr 1 for the mercenaries as a group. All should be delivered alive. PCs who ask may get some amount of cash advance on very positive reactions from the hiring agent.

The Prison
The Prison – Image from wikimedia – public domain

Referee’s Information:
The referee should look up JTAS #1, Amber Zone “Rescue on Ruie” for the background of this adventure. At least one of the following six complications should be employed by the referee to challenge the players. The mercenary team is equipped to TL B, and is active in the subsector. They are aware that Nebet may come looking for them, but have not had any communication with Harroway or his father since making their escape from Orval. They will neither know nor care where Harroway is, and will not hesitate to say so.

1. Harroway is on an extended subsector tour, protected by a bodyguard, equipped to TL D, equal in number to the PC’s. He is traveling aboard ships of his father’s company.

2. The mercenaries have ditched or sold the type-A ship and ‘gone to ground’.

3. The mercenaries’ ship has been ‘upgraded’ to serve as a troop carrier. The original team has expanded so now there are 30 troops aboard.

4. Harroway senior has been alerted to the fact that bounty hunters are after his son, and is mobilizing the corporation’s internal security against them.

5. Another hunter team is either one step behind or one step ahead of the PCs, and is willing to do anything to overtake/stay ahead of them.

6. Another hunter team offers to coordinate with the PCs for a 60-40 split of the bounty, but plans to double-cross them.

Diplomatic Service

Patron: Ambassador
Location: Highbury, (Foreven 0926) B-566879-9
Skills required: weapon skills, reconnaissance skill, intrusion skills

The PC’s are hired by the ambassador of the Avalar Consulate to Highbury. The political climate is getting hotter, the local public opinion has turned against Avalar for some reason of interstellar importance. The Ambassador, concerned for his staff’s safety, wants the embassy’s security measures tested. The PCs should be Avalar citizens so the testing can be done quietly, without further stoking local opposition. The PCs are promised cash and official thanks or recognition for their work. The Chief of Diplomatic Security is not happy about this, but agrees to comply. The PC’s are given 72 hours to conduct surveillance, then they must attempt to breach the embassy’s security ‘far enough to cause damage’, then show the white flag and end the exercise. The CDS supplies them with low-power laser weapons (power cell operated) to use; these can be concealed or disguised. The PCs and all embassy personnel will wear laser sensors at all times, so that the intruding team can simulate a shooting attack, and security staff can counter. Whether or not the attack succeeds, the PC’s will have accomplished their task by confirming the extant security measures or revealing weaknesses that can be corrected.

Embassy
The Avalar Embassy – image from wikimedia
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

The referee should provide the players with maps and plans that display most but not all anti-intrusion measures, and strongly encourage the players to take the time to conduct pre-operational surveillance. Teams that charge right in, frontal assault-style should be easy for embassy security to neutralize. The success or failure of the staged attack should depend on the PC’s extent of planning. The referee must give the players a fair chance to breach the security – remember the embassy is on a budget, and a fortified bunker is not a positive diplomatic image to convey to the host nation.

Optional Events:
1. Nothing unusual happens during the staged attack. The PC’s plan stands or falls on its merits.

2. While conducting pre-op surveillance, the PCs detect another group also performing surveillance on the embassy. The referee must determine the size and intent of this group.

3. As with number two, but the other group approaches the PC group and offers significant financial incentives for the PCs to join in on an actual attack. Careless PC’s may find one of their members kidnapped by the rival group to persuade them to comply.

4. While conducting the staged attack, it appears that embassy security is one step ahead of them at every turn. The CDS has somehow bugged the PC’s gear or persons, and knows everything that they are planning. It is up to the PCs to discover this fact and prove it to clear themselves of looking incompetent. The Ambassador will not be pleased to learn his CDS cheated.

5. While conducting the staged attack, one or more of the PC’s lasers will switch to full power without warning. If any embassy staff are killed or wounded, the security team will change-up to real weaponry and attempt to apprehend or kill the PCs. The PC’s must determine what caused the power-up and prove their innocence.

6. During the staged attack, another group uses the distraction to launch a real attack. The attacking group will be of the same number as the PCs and will have standard weaponry, as well as explosive charges. The PC’s may hide, flee or fight. The referee must decide if the attacking group is defeated if the PCs refuse to help. In this case, the Ambassador, if he lives, will not be pleased and accuse the PCs of conspiring with the other group.

Future diplomatic relations between Highbury and Avalar must be determined by the referee based upon the public outcome of this exercise.

Renovations

Patron: Businessman/Investor
Required skills: any, technical skills helpful
Required equipment: none

The situation:
The patron has recently acquired at auction the ownership of the land & property of a failed colony on an in-system moon, planetoid or planet. Whatever the location, the atmospheric conditions required a sealed habitat. The characters are among a group that the patron has hired to travel to the habitat and conduct an initial assessment. They will be transported to the location by shuttle or the PCs 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. The total size of the group is equal to 2D+2, but there should be at least two NPCs making the trip. The patron will not be there in person, but can be contacted by radio from the shuttle. The patron has agreed to grant salvage rights to the characters for any personal (i.e. non-structural) items left behind.

The habitat
The habitat : Image from wikimedia. Public domain. Created by NASA.

Referee’s Information:
The referee will create plans for the habitat. It can be above ground or underground, but must be sealed. The habitat was large enough for maybe 200 persons at the most. Include a landing area with airlocks and some adjoining storehouses. It should be sufficiently remote that help is a while in coming, and trips back to the main planet are impractical.

Complications:
1. No unusual problems – it will take several days to repair, refuel and restart all the machinery; referee can determine difficulty of repair tasks. Any characters searching the habitat may find a few 100 Credits worth of salvageable goods.

2. As number 1, but the habitat made use of numerous robots controlled by the central computer, which were left ‘on’ and ran out of power. When power is restored, the robots will reactivate, causing problems for the characters until switched off or given new commands.* Also, salvageable goods worth several 1000s of credits can be found

3. As number 1, but while searching for salvage, evidence of a murder is discovered in the form of a dead body full of bullet holes. The habitat will be declared a crime scene and sealed off. The characters may be hired as detectives to track down the former inhabitants. Also, salvageable goods worth tens of thousands of credits can be found. PCs or NPCs may have trouble getting things out past the police, who would consider it potential evidence.

4. A legitimate shipping company has been using the habitat as a storage facility, under abandoned property laws. The storehouses are full of their stuff, clearly marked and bearing appropriate shipping documents. No agent of the company is present when the characters arrive, but if they enter the storehouse, a transponder will notify the company and they will assume the group are bandits when they arrive.

5. There is evidence of seismic activity, and portions of the habitat may be structurally unsound. Additional tremors may cause collapses, sinkholes or breach of seals. Salvageable goods are as in number 2 or number 3.

6. A gang of pirates has been using the habitat as a base. The storehouses are full of their stolen goods. The pirates, equal in number to the whole group, are there at the base, and will fight to keep their stuff and contain knowledge of their presence.

In all cases, the referee must determine the flow of subsequent events.

* There is an amusing chapter in H. Beam Pipers The Cosmic Computer where this happens to the main characters. Adjust the level of danger to suit your game.

Custom Build

Patron: Scout Pilot
Skills Required: Technical skills, Administration
Equipment Required: tools

Players’ Information:
The PC’s are contacted by a detached duty Scout, who is looking for help o a building project. He has acquired a starship hull, which is sound but lacking some key components. The Scout has borrowed against the selling price of the ship to purchase or build the required parts. He offers the party a share of the selling price, initially 30% to him and 70% split amongst the group. The Scout claims to have a buyer already lined up.

Custom Ship
Custom Ship : Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest, “LIBERTY SHIP, 1943. – A Liberty Ship Under Construction At The Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard In Baltimore, Maryland. Photograph, April 1943.”, accessed 23 Aug 2012 . (rights-cleared image)

Referee’s Information:
The situation is as the Scout has explained it, the hull is legally his, and he has secured funding. Referee can choose the size of the ship based upon the size of the PC group and their skills. Any starship, even a rebuild should be worth several MCr. The ship sits on a paved area that used to be a warehouse floor, outside of the local metropolis, and he has rented some heavy equipment necessary to lift large components. The referee must determine the number of parts still needed and their cost. It is suggested that the referee consult the Traveller Book, p. 78 ‘Repair parts’, the Starship Operator’s Manual page on Maintenance, under Other Tasks, the JTAS article Starship Malfunctions, (JTAS 15 p. 16), and ‘Refitting Ships’ and ‘Repairs’ in Adventure 5: Trillion Credit Squadron.

Complications:
1. The buyer has only a limited time in which he is able to purchase the ship. The players will have to work very fast to meet the deadline. After that date the PC’s will need to find a new buyer.

2. The buyer is a crook, and is planning to forge payment then skip the system with the ship.

3. There are some components which cannot be gotten locally. Someone will have to travel to another star system to find them, buy them and have them shipped back.

4. The hull has a secret compartment, containing a Macguffin. The referee must determine the nature of the Macguffin, and what parties may wish to buy or steal it.

5. The local shipyard manager objects to the competition and is using his connections to hold up the project by requiring permits, inspections and lots of red tape. Local police may be called in if the permits are not in order. If pushed to extremes, the manager may employ yard workers to attempt sabotage.

6. The buyer backs out unexpectedly, leaving the group with a very large debt. Then they find out that the money came from loan sharks, not a bank.

Sparkly Hoozit

Patron: Businessperson
Location: any
Skills required: Liaison, Streetwise, Thief skills

Job: The patron recently bought a rare Sparkly Hoozit. It cost a lot, and the patron barely out-bid a local underworld boss and fellow collector of Hoozits. The Hoozit was even more recently stolen, and the patron has reason to believe that Capone was responsible. The Hoozit requires special care, so there’s only a few places the gangster could have hidden it. The problem is that the patron bought it at an illegal hot property auction, so he can’t file charges with the police, and wants to keep this quiet. The patron wants the PC’s to act as go-betweens, to negotiate the return of the Hoozit. The PCs should have no trouble in locating the gangster, and little trouble in determining where the Hoozit is being kept.

Sparkly Hoozit
Maybe a Sparkly Hoozit, it might be living jewels. : Picture from wikimedia. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Complication: After the first meeting with the gangster, but before a deal is made, the Hoozit vanishes. The gangster accuses the patron of a double-cross, the patron accuses the gangster of a further swindle to drive up the price, and the heated rhetoric from both sides means there may be a criminal war erupting in the streets any day. The patron turns out to have access to armed enforcers. On the chance that the gangster is telling the truth, the patron wants the PC’s to find out what really happened and where the Hoozit is now, and get it back.

Options:
1. The gangster is faking, and will offer to sell it back at a greatly inflated price.

2. One of the gangster’s people stole it so he can sell it himself.

3. One of the gangster’s people stole it, to goad the patron into ‘removing’ his superior.

4. The previous owner of the Hoozit has stolen it back, and plans to leave the planet with it.

5. Unrelated thieves have stolen the Hoozit, and are unaware of the trouble they have started.

6. The patron is trying a double-cross and instigated the war to eliminate the gangster (reason left to the referee)

It is up to the referee to determine the nature and proper name of the Sparkly Hoozit, and what specific care it requires.