Tag Archives: 76 Patrons

The Hidden Cache

Location: any Starport
Patron: an older prospector
Required skills and equipment: The PC’s will need to own a Jump-2 or better starship. The starship will need to have scoops for refueling or be capable of two hyperspace jumps. Environmental suits or vacc suits will be in demand.

Players’ Information:

The PC’s are approached by Torbun Grey, an aging prospector that says he is in need of a ship with some limited cargo space. He says he was a prospector some years back and his work carried him to another sector for a long time. He has always wanted to return to a rich site he discovered and was unable to leave behind. He will pay, up front Cr. 20,000 for transportation to the site and another Cr. 20,000 upon their return. The catch? The site is not on any charts nor is it located in a solar system. It is located on a moon surrounding a rogue gas giant well away from any space lanes.

Torbun says that he used a computer to calculate the vector of the rogue planet and doubts if anyone else has discovered this location. He says the destination moon is mostly a very thin atmosphere, with a yellowish haze of sulfuric-based airborne compounds emanating from the very active volcanoes that riddle the surface of the moon. It seems the gravity from the gas giant causes some serious stresses on the tectonic plates of the moon, causing the volcanoes to erupt nearly constantly. Obviously, due to the lack of a star, there is perpetual night on the gas giant and moon.

The Lava Moon
The Lava Moon – Image from wikimedia – Public Domain

Referee’s Information:

If anyone in the PC’s party knows anything about prospecting or geology, they will likely know that the chances of a rich prospect on a highly volcanic moon is unlikely. Torbun, is in fact a “retired” corsair who has just finished spending the last twenty years in an Imperial prison for his pirate days. He was a skilled navigator on board the Serpent’s Tooth, a 400-ton corsair that was boarded and destroyed when he was captured.

Torbun discovered this location from a seeker they once captured that discovered the gas giant due to a misjump. The corsair kept the location a secret so they could use it to refuel and strike at solar systems much easier, while avoiding capture. This unnamed rogue planet still seems to be plodding along between solar systems, dragging what is likely its only moon along for the ride. The moon, much like the Terran system’s moon, Io, is VERY volcanic. Visibility at low elevations will be limited, and there is a constant wind, but due to the minimal atmospheric pressure, a 200 kph wind has the force of a 2kph on the moon. This wind does blow dust and ash around and the ash can have sharp edges, fouling gear and wearing out the vacc suits fairly quickly.

Torbun will be nervous when dealing with Imperial Naval encounters as they were the ones who brought him to justice. He will be mum about the real conditions of the moon and the salvage that waits on its surface. The salvage? Nothing less than a crashed Gazelle-class close escort that followed the pirates to this destination. It is his hope that there can be salvage on board the ship. When confronted with his deception, he will quickly try to strike a bargain with the PC’s to share as much as half the salvage they find.

Outcomes:

1. The PC’s arrive at the destination and locate the gas giant ahead after a three-day burn. The Gazelle-class escort is none other than the Badger, a ship sold to a local system for protection from pirates. The ship is intact and sitting on a plateau overlooking a lava lake. If the PC’s decide to salvage the ship’s gear they will find a ship full of weapons and assorted military gear worth nearly 2.0MCr on the black market. Since the ship has been missing for decades, this gear popping up on the markets might raise a few eyebrows. As for the crew their remains are here, huddled together in suits showing they had a hull breach that compromised the ship’s life support. The ship’s engine room is mostly destroyed and the ship’s batteries have run dry long ago.

2. As outcome #1 with the following exceptions: The ship crash landed not far from an active lava vent. The engine room broke away from the rest of the ship on impact and it has been covered over in lave rocks for decades. The moon will be VERY unstable as the nearby lava vent is robustly emitting lava and gas. Quakes are common. Roll (2d6: 8+) for a strong quake to occur nearby capable of damaging equipment and players alike.

3. As outcome #2 with the following exceptions: The Badger has shifted from its original crash site as the support under the plateau has been eroded. The ship’s remaining forward section rests at a 30-degree tilt, and rock slides striking the ship are common. Footing will be treacherous and the risk of a greater rock slide under the remaining section are high.

4. As outcome #1 with the following exception. On the second day of salvage, an unknown vessel enters this small system. It is running without its transponders, a well-known tactic of corsairs. If the PC’s shut down operations for a few days and “go silent” they will avoid detection.

5. As outcome #4, except the incoming ships are a Zhodani scout squadron of three Ninz-class scouts. They will detect and hail the PC’s ship and if the PC’s are truthful and claim they are on a legal salvage, they will be left alone. If they are not truthful they will be boarded, searched and the Zhodani will claim salvage rights.

6. As outcome #4, but it will be no less than three 400-ton corsairs. The PC’s will need to be exceptionally quiet and lay low for the four days they refuel and orbit the nearby gas giant.

Hearts and Minds

Location: any “A” or “B” Starport
Patron: Dr. Marion Skaarstaad, MD.
Required skills and equipment: The PC’s will either need to own a Jump-2 or better trader, or they will need to be able to crew a similar starship for this patron.

Players’ Information:

Dr. Marion Skaarstaad is a middle-aged physician (age: 38) who has experience in frontier medicine. He has been contacted by a middle agent from one of the Imperial Megacorporations who have interests in the Foreven Sector. He has been hired to form a team of medical personnel to bring higher tech medicine to lower tech areas. He is looking for a separate, non-medical team to help him with the transportation of his team and to provide personnel security. He is offering a six to nine month contract with the PC’s to help him with his task at double rates due to the difficulties expected.

When asked by the PC’s as to the purpose of this operation, he says that they are trying to win the hearts and minds of the inhabitants of the sector. Whether it is fixing an old prospector’s teeth to curing a mystery disease on an agricultural backwater, he genuinely wants to help these people – and if it is being funded by a Megacorporation, all the better.

His team consists of ten people including himself:
Dr. Marion Skaarstaad, age 38 – General Practice Physician (skill-4)
Dr. Georgi Platov, age 50 – Dentist (skill-3)
Dr. Francis Beaumont, age 44 – Surgeon (skill-3)
Dr. Charles Gordon, age 32, Pathologist (skill-3)
Dr. Chan Li Tong, age 40, Triage /Emergency Medicine (skill-3)
Dr. Juniper Harlech, age 32, OBGYN/Pediatrics (skill-3/2)
Kelvin Grey, age 28, EMT (Emergency Medical Tech, skill-2)
Joyce McLauren, age 32, patient care specialist (skill-2)
Hakim Rahmadi, age 31, patient care/therapist (skill 3/2)
Karen Tonaka, age 44, surgical assistant (skill-2)

Operating Room
Operating Room – Image from wikimedia – Public Domain

Referee’s Information:

Dr. Skaarstad has deep pockets. He will bring aboard all the supplies he needs to accomplish his task. He is impatient to get to the patients he expects to see and will take only what he thinks is necessary to maximize cargo space for his essential medical supplies. He admits he knows nothing about security, weapons or anything military in nature. He is exceptional with his care for these patients when he finally arrives on station.

One of his team members, Kelvin Grey, is not just an EMT technician, he is also the media specialist for this journey. He has a wide assortment of cameras and holo-recorders to document all the good work this team is doing. Dr. Skaarstad is irritated that this team member waste their time recording the work they do, but he knows this is a necessary evil to obtain needed corporate backing.

When the starship is loaded and ready to go, Dr. Skaarstad will sit down with the PC’s and plan a logical roster of planets to visit. He will lean towards those planets with lower-tech, higher population areas. Each planet they target for help will have them stay about two weeks overall. He will plan a six month loop and a nine month loop, depending upon their success. Once this plan is set, he will broadcast this itinerary to his middle-man agent so that supplies can be brought out to the ship has it accomplishes it’s mission.

Outcomes:

1. The team is well received at nearly every location they visit. Word arrives ahead of the team and people are waiting in line for them to begin their work. Because of their initial success, the additional three month loop is utilized. The supply ships with fresh medicine arrive as scheduled and the mission is a resounding success. The PC’s receive a Cr. 10,000 bonus apiece for their work. After a three-month hiatus, Dr. Skaarstad may be willing to try again with the same team and same PC contract.

2. Somehow, word was not sent ahead at half of the locations chosen by the team. It will take several days for a host of patients to finally arrive. Supply ships are on time on a roll of (2d6: 8+), but they do eventually arrive, even if late. Because of these difficulties, the six month tour is the course chosen and the PC’s are paid according to the contract.

3. Word was not sent ahead to the ports of call and the supply ships do not materialize. The good doctor still follows through with the mission and stretches his supplies nearly to the breaking point. Because of these shortfalls, the six month loop is the route chosen. When the six months are up, the good doctor makes sure all the PC’s are personally thanked and all of them are given Cr. 5,000 as a bonus direct out of his own pocket.

4. As Outcome #2, with these exceptions. At one location, not long after their arrival, a major natural disaster strikes with numerous casualties. The ten-man team kicks into overdrive, helping out the minimal infrastructure available to handle this event on the planet. Dr. Skaarstad decides to stay two weeks longer than planned as his skills are needed at this place at this time.

5. As outcome #3, except that there is a significant problem at one pf the landing sites. Initially the natives are appreciative and supporting, but a local crime lord has set his sights on the cargo of medical supplies on the ship. One of the team is captured and the ransom is an exchange for the life of the team member for the medical supplies that are left on board.

6. As outcome #2, but the reason why the supply ships are not arriving is due to pirate activity in the subsector. Towards the end of the six month loop, the team is intercepted by a corsair as it is burning away from the planet they just visited. If the PC’s resist, the corsair will disable the ship and capture the doctors. If the PC’s listen to Dr. Skaarstad and allow themselves to be boarded, the pirates will settle with the medical cargo and they will leave. Why would they capture the team or the ship if they know more medical supplies are en route?

Affluenza

Location: any “A” or “B” Starport
Patron: Wealthy young adult,
Torbin Pennington (human male, age: 20)
(stats: 877899. Driver (grav) – 2, Streetwise – 0, Gambling – 1)
Required skills and equipment: Characters with engineering, electronics and mechanical skills will be very useful. The PC’s total skills must allow them to operate a starship without any help.

Players’ Information:

Down on their luck and looking for work, the PC’s encounter a young man who calls himself Torbin “the Turtle.” He says he is the new owner of a used yacht renamed, the Terrible Terrapin. It is a Prince G’Vare class yacht that has been sitting idle adjacent to the starport for a handful of years. He says he bought it outright and he needs a crew to bring it back to life.

He says he is the son of a wealthy megacorporate big-wig who considers him an embarrassment. He cashed in his inheritance and he wants away from the family’s underhanded mind games. All he wants is the freedom to find some secluded garden spot in the universe, where a person of his worth is appreciated and welcomed. His interests are his grav bike, good food and whatever farmer’s daughter he can spend money on at the local watering hole.

He will hire the PC’s to repair his ship, to fly him off the rock they are on now and to get him out of any trouble he may get into. He will bankroll all of the ship’s repairs and any gear that is needed to outfit the yacht for space travel. The rates he offers are double the normal amount offered for their skills. In short, he wants people he can rely on.

The Bar
A place where you may find Torbin – image from wikimedia – public domain

Referee’s Information:

Torbin may not be nobility, but he is spoiled rotten. Self-centered, somewhat naïve and ego-centric, most people want to pound him into the dirt after spending more than an hour with him. He does have a substantial amount of money (all of it in hard currency) and it is kept in several locked cases in his quarters on board. His true focus is running his grav bike at insane speeds, gambling with the locals and chasing skirts – no matter the consequences.

The ship, however is a much bigger mess. In its current state it is not flight-capable. The following systems need to be repaired and/or replaced:

Jump Drive – the energy feed from the jump bubble projector to the engines has been broken in several places. This wiring needs to be replaced.

Maneuvering Drive – the pump that feeds fuel to the engine’s reaction chamber needs to be replaced.

Power Plant – the very first thing that needs to be brought on line is the ship’s internal power. The fusion core is intact, but it needs to be cleaned completely. This means every part needs to be disassembled, cleaned out and reassembled.

Life Support – the ship’s CO2 scrubbers and heating coils are broken and need to be replaced.

Ship’s Thrusters – the small maneuvering jets on the starboard side are clogged and need to be broken down, cleaned and reassembled.

Ship’s Computer – the computer is totally incapable of holding power for more than ten minutes. An entirely new computer is necessary, as well as the software to run the ship.

Bridge controls (helm) – most of the power cables to the controller systems for the helm are not usable.

Bridge controls (navigation) – the controls are completely useless. A new console is needed.

You get the picture…
(Other system needing work include the power transfer conduits, the ship needs new sensors, the galley needs to be cleaned and new equipment installed, the ship’s internal gravity needs calibration and there is a persistent smell that remains elusive). But the airlocks operate perfectly!

Outcomes:

1. Torbin is in no hurry to get his ship off the ground. The PC’s will need about two to three months of solid work to at least get the ship space-capable. Torbin sleeps most of the morning in his cabin and not long after he wakes up he leaves on his grav bike for the day. He will be impossible to find until he returns from his forays into town. After the ship jumps a couple of times he will seek to sign the crew to longer term contracts.

2. Torbin is impatient to get off the ground. The ship will need plenty of time to find and fix everything and Torbin is useless when it comes to repairs. He will get underfoot in the early afternoons after he sleeps off his nightly activities and then disappear until the next morning. After the ship jumps a couple of times he will seek to sign the crew to longer term contracts.

3. After a month of repairs, an agent of Torbin’s rich father shows up looking for him. The agent delivers the message that Torbin needs to return to the Imperium to become a part of the family’s dynasty. After much arguing, Torbin agrees to return, but only after the crew fixes his ship and he returns in his ship. The PC’s are released after his return to the Imperium.

4. After a month of repairs, a group of locals appear at the ship one morning, looking for Torbin. Apparently one of his encounters with a farmer’s daughter has resulted in a pregnancy. He is forced at shotgun to marry his new bride and he is expected to settle down and make a life on this planet. He gives instructions to the crew to finish repairs and to come get him (he uses the word “rescue”) off this rock. After jumping to another subsector, he will see if the PC’s want to sign on for longer contracts. He will be grateful and accommodating in his offers.

5. After a month of working on the ship, the PC’s discover that the elusive smell is actually a nest of rat-like reducers that like chewing on the ship’s interior cables. This will delay the repair time by at least a month.

6. After a month of repairs, Torbin is killed in a tavern brawl. In his quarters there is a holovid cube projector that contains his last will and testament. His wish is to have his body returned to his family back in the Imperium. He awards the ship to the PC’s for their faithful service to him.

The Sylan Extraction

Location: Syl/Reidain (Foreven/Reindain 0304) 2724 B510874-C
Patron: Johannis Arnaund, Journalist/Researcher
Required skills and equipment: Starship

Players’ Information:

Syl, the fourth moon of the Gas Giant Askew, has been a productive mining colony for several centuries and is currently the home of a number subterranean company towns, all of them locked in endless competition. Each corporate enclave tries to produce the best ore at the lowest price, but over the centuries, a sizable population of non-aligned Sylans has taken root in abandoned steam and aqueduct tunnels (known collectively as the Agrippa). These Agrippans are effectively Syl’s riff-raff, living by their wits, often doing the worst jobs for the lowest pay, and sometimes even serving as independent mercenaries whenever a corporate war breaks out, which is fairly often. Some Agrippans, unhappy with this arrangement, have joined together as the Sylan Liberation Front (SLF), a group that seeks to undermine corporate control of Syl and ultimately create a participating democracy among all of Syl’s people in order to effectively regulate and rein in the corporations. Needless to say, the SLF is considered an outlaw organization among all of Syl’s competing corporations, and anyone associated with the group may be considered a terrorist.

The PCs will likely be visiting Syl to pick up or drop off cargo. While in the Starport bar, they meet Johannis Arnaund, a rather inebriated fellow with a strange accent who seems to be somewhat disgruntled with Syl’s current state of affairs. He appears to be drowning his misery with alcohol, and while talking politics, he will wax eloquent about how the Sylans, Agrippans and Corpies alike, are all effectively prisoners to the corporate elite. The Corpies work in constant fear of being fired, because if they are fired they’ll become Agrippans, who are, in turn, essentially treated as human refuse. Sure, the consumers get a great price on the mined minerals, but what is the real cost in terms of human misery and broken lives?

If asked about himself, Johannis will say that he’s from the Spinward Marches and that he came to the Foreven Sector in order to study and write about governance, corporatism, and sophont rights along the Imperium’s spinward frontier. He has written extensively as an independent journalist and social commentator, but despite his work, he remains relatively obscure. Earlier this year, he came to Syl and met with certain members of the SLF, whose names he obscured in his notes by referring to them as A, B, C, D, etc…. However, as he returned to the starport, his notes were confiscated by Sternmetal Corporation’s security grunts, and he realized immediately that although they didn’t have the names of these people he met with, they’d be able to use security camera footage and data logs to figure out who they are. Hence, he sent a number of warning messages out via the public boards, but he’s very worried that these people will eventually by rounded up by Sternmetal or one of the other corporations.

“I will not be able to live with myself,” he states in one of his more lucid moments, “if my stupid lack of precautions causes these noble, brave, freedom fighters to suffer further.”

To this end, if the PCs will find these people and provide them with passage off-world, he will gladly pay three times the normal rate, and he can be talked up even higher.

TheSylanExtraction

Referee’s Information:

The passengers can be smuggled past security inside of large, hollowed out engine parts that can be obtained from a local scrap yard. These parts will need to be welded shut around them so that they can’t be easily opened by the guards.

The hard part will be in locating these people and communicating with them, but given Mr. Arnaund’s help, this is much more doable. The problem, he says, is that now that Sternmetal is on to him, they will be paying careful attention to anywhere he goes, and his life might even be in jeopardy if they think he constitutes a threat.

Possible variants are as follows:

1. All is as it seems, but Arnaund is secretly in love with one of the SLF leaders, a woman by the name of Este. He will be very eager to meet with her in person, possibly putting the whole operation at risk.

2. The operation is already at risk, as Mr. Arnaund’s table was bugged by Sternmetal security before the PCs even showed up.

3. Arnaund, having fallen on hard times, has effectively sold his soul to Sternmetal security and is helping them to entrap unsavory merchants in order to impound their starships, imprison their crews, and then employ them in hazardous duty in the lower mines.

4. As #3, but the SLF was secretly created by Sternmetal in order to gather subversive elements and conduct terrorist operations against the other mining companies. These “leaders” who are to be extracted are members who were up-and-coming in the organization who advocated hitting Sternmetal itself rather than just hitting the smaller corporate enclaves, something the SLF’s senior leaders obviously couldn’t allow. Hence, this extraction is being conducted so that these people can be effectively neutralized off-world so as to not create a rift within the SLF itself. Arnaund’s plan, then, is that after the ship reaches orbit with its human cargo, it’ll be stopped by a Sternmetal SDB, thoroughly searched, and then Sternmetal will deal with the PCs however they wish.

5. These supposed SLF members are actually Zhodani agents/agitators whose covers were compromised after a recent terrorist operation, and Mr. Arnaund is, among other things, a Zhodani agent who is trying to get them out on short notice. The PCs, therefore, are effectively useful idiots in case the extraction should fail.

6. As #5, but the Zhodani agents are not satisfied to merely have escaped Syl. They also want a starship of their very own to get back to Consulate space, and the PC’s ship would do quite nicely.

Madama Butterfly

Patron: Noble
Required Skills: None
Required Equipment: Starship
Locations: Gotylu, Urnian Subsector

Players’ Information:

Whist on Gotylu the players are approached by two men wearing the brightly coloured and unusually tailored garments of the natives of that planet. They both also wear ceremonial (but quite functional) swords, marking them as higher status individuals allowed to carry such weapons despite the local law level.

They introduce themselves as Yakuside and Goro, and explain that they are looking for a group who can find the captain of a merchant starship who has gone missing. If the players are interested Yakuside will provide further details.

Pinkerton is the captain of the Lincoln, a type A free trader. Six months ago when on shore leave he courted and married Yakuside’s niece, Cho-Cho. After spending a few weeks with his new wife Pinkerton left to continue his business, with the intention to return once his trading route took him back to Gotylu. However Pinkerton has not yet returned from his voyage and the men are concerned that he is in trouble and wish to hire a group who can locate the wayward captain, help him with any difficulties he may be in, and then return him to Gotylu.

Yakuside acknowledges that Pinkerton may possibly have perished and in that case requires information on what has happened. Pinkerton also has a sword given to him at the wedding ceremony, similar to the ones they carry, which they want returned.

They are offering Cr 100,000 for Pinkerton’s safe return, half of this for definitive evidence of his demise and the other half for the return of the sword.

Butterfly
Cho-Cho – Image from Pixabay. Public Domain

Referee’s Information:

If the players suggest Pinkerton has absconded the patrons will protest that is an honourable man. However if pressed they will concede that this is a possibility and if so then there would be punishment administered when he was returned to them, and it would be unlikely he would be permitted to leave the planet again.

The situation is as follows:

1. Pinkerton is a scoundrel. Pinkerton is alive and well working the local cluster in his free trader and should be easily tracked down. He is a vain and arrogant man, the ceremonial sword is hanging pride of place in his stateroom seemingly as a trophy of his conquest. When confronted by the players Pinkerton will claim that he does intend to return to Gotylu soon to see his wife but has not yet had the opportunity. He will be quite dismissive of any suggestion that he should return immediately. Pinkerton will respond to threats with violence if he thinks he has the upper hand however if obviously out-gunned he will comply. He will also respond to financial incentives. If the players ingratiate themselves with Pinketon they will be able to encourage him, over a number of days or weeks, to visit Gotylu sooner that he may have otherwise. If Pinkerton discovers that he faces punishment or confinement dirt-side on his return we will not we willing to do so.

2. Pinkerton is a liar. Pinkerton is not in fact the captain of the Lincoln but is, or rather was, one of it’s crew members. He lost his position a few jumps after Gotylu and has been stranded ever since. The players will be able to track him to a world near to Gotylu where he is trying to secure a position on another starship that is likely to visit there. He is genuinely attracted to Cho-Cho and would like to return to her if possible. He will attempt to conspire with the players to concoct a plausible story of his absence from Gotylu and will happily accompany them if he thinks they will cover for him. Otherwise he will not be cooperative and will attempt to flee from the players at the first opportunity.

3. Pinkerton is a scoundrel and a liar. As number 1 however Pinkerton is not the Captain of the Lincoln but was one of its crew members. He is not currently on the Lincoln and has had a number of jobs since on different ships travelling around the cluster. He may be convinced to return to Gotylu as per number 1 however will expect to be aided in maintaining the ruse as per number 2.

4. Pinkerton is a scoundrel, a liar and a thief. As number 2 however Pinkerton has no interest in Cho-Cho beyond material gain. He is no longer on the Lincoln but left at the nearest port where he was able to enjoy both the considerable dowry he received from his marriage and the proceeds from the sale of the sword. By the time the players catch up to him he will have spent most of his money and will be either carousing, blind drunk or sleeping. He will not willingly return to Gotylu and will flee from the players as soon as he learns of their intentions. The sword is now in the possession of a local collector of Gotylu artefacts. They will sell, reluctantly, for a sufficiently generous offer (Cr 20,000 – 40,000). The collection is at their private residence and not securely guarded.

5. Pinkerton is in an unfortunate situation. The crew of the Lincoln mutinied soon after Pinkertons marriage to Cho-Cho and he is now stranded in a wilderness area of the planet on which the mutineers left him. Pinkerton is smitten with Cho-Cho and will happily return to Gotylu with the players if they find him, however he will want to retrieve the sword first which is in the possession of the leader of the mutineers.

6. Pinkerton has met an untimely end. The Lincoln was attacked by pirates whist wilderness refuelling. The ship has been looted and the crew executed, along with Pinkerton. The wreck with the bodies of the crew on-board is currently adrift. The sword was taken by the pirates and fenced. The pirate ship may be tracked down through the fence if the very distinctive sword is located.

The Cousin

Location: Titan (Foreven/Titan) 1429 A642ABA-D
Patron: Minor Noble
Required Skills: Pilot
Required Equipment: none

Players’ Information:

After mustering out of the Avalar Scout Service, the player visits his cousin, hoping to gain a cushy job in one of his businesses. The cousin is delighted to see the player, and has already arranged a position for him.

On a moon in the Titan system
On a moon in the Titan system – image from wikimedia – public domain

Referee’s Information:

The player’s cousin has completely believed the player’s stories, and is excited to have the opportunity to employ such a “highly skilled, heroic”, Scout. The cousin has never been off planet and does not have a realistic view of what travelling really entails, having always lived a spoiled, privileged life. The cousin is an incompetent businessman, and has been depleting his fortune by carousing, but has so far been able to kept this information secret. In most of the cases below the cousin will behave as a spoiled tourist, wishing to visit every ‘exciting’ location, in which to engage in various risky ‘adventures’, with the player as his guide/bodyguard. At the referee’s option the cousin may turn out to have one or more addictive behaviors (drugs, drinking, gambling).

1. The cousin has sold almost all of his holdings, some 40 million Credits worth, in order to buy an interstellar Yacht (Type Y). He now wants the player to be his pilot as the two, plus the cousin’s butler, explore the sector looking for adventure.

2. The cousin has arranged to employ the player as the commander of a Far Trader that runs a route for one of the companies he has holdings in. The pay is good. The cousin will accompany the player on his first run of the route, ostensibly to provide the player with advice on the company’s policies and methods. The Far Trader picks up and delivers cargoes and employees for the company, and does not engage in speculative trading.

3. The cousin will provide the player with a Type J Seeker to scout outlying systems for resources for his companies to exploit. The cousin also provides an experienced prospector to accompany the player. The cousin expects great results in short order, and will arrange to rendezvous with the player frequently to check on his progress. The cousin will, of course, use these meetings as opportunities for carousing.

4. As #2 however the cargoes are (mostly) fake, and the containers contain nothing of value. The cousin is attempting to defraud the company, and let the player take the blame.

5. As #3, however the prospector is in fact an old friend of the cousin who has no real experience in prospecting. He will eventually admit he had just been telling the cousin tall tales of being a prospector, when in reality he was a minor bureaucrat for a mining company.

6. Roll again and use the description for one of the above cases. However the cousin is in fact a shrewd business man despite his privileged life. He quickly learns how to make a profit in the situation described, and does not engage in much, if any, carousing.

Background:

This encounter is intended to be used to start a campaign, and provides initial motivation for the referee to build the campaign on. The first player has spent most of his career in the Communications branch of the Avalar Interstellar Scout Service. The player has visited his cousin, a well to do minor Noble, at every opportunity, regaling him with stories of exciting daring do in the AISS. The stories he has related are true, BUT the player has exaggerated, in fact completely fabricated, his role in these events. In reality he has spent his entire career being little more than a glorified mail man.

If there is more than one player the referee should make the second player the cousin. The referee then tells the cousin player only the information about himself, and does NOT tell him that the Scout player is not the hero he makes himself out to be. Tell the players their backgrounds separately, then let them play out their interaction. Additional players can be hangers on of the cousin, for example the prospector or the butler, or possibly friends of the Scout.