Tag Archives: Noble

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.

Sir Robert Williams, Knight

Patron: Noble
Required skills: Advocate, Broker
Reward: Cr 1000, or up to 1% of sale cost per level of Broker skill.

Players’ Information:
A local noble, Sir Robert Frederick Williams, approaches one of the crew members in the starport lounge, seeking a skilled negotiator and broker willing to represent his interests in a real estate transaction. He is selling his private asteroid estate to Captain Karen Harris, owner of the far trader Lucky Strike, who wants to make it her new base of operations and private starport. He insists that the purchase take place as quickly as possible, and needs a broker that can act on his behalf. Upon request, he offers his credentials and a copy of the deed, which identifies the owner of the property as Robert F. Williams. Under a cursory examination, the situation as presented appears to be legitimate.

The Noble "Brothers"
The Noble “Brothers” – Image from wikimedia
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

Referee’s Information:
Setting up a meeting with Captain Harris proves to be easy, as she is eager to complete this transaction. Although the property itself is valued at 20 MCr, Sir Williams is willing to let it go for a significantly reduced price, so long as the payment is made immediately and in full. Captain Harris is well aware of Sir Williams’ desperation, and will bid significantly lower in hopes of getting the property at a steal. She cannot go above 6 MCr without putting a loan on her ship, which she is quite reluctant to do. As the negotiations appear to be coming to close, another man, identical in appearance to Sir Williams, bursts into the room with a few security guards, claiming to be the real Sir Robert Flynn Williams, and that the other man is a clone posing as him. There is obviously a lot of enmity between the two men as an “aggressive argument” ensues. In all of the options presented below, further development is left to the discretion of the Referee.

1. All is as it now appears. Robert Frederick is indeed a clone of Robert Flynn, and desires his freedom from the cruelty of the “indentured servitude” imposed on him by his donor-father. He longs to have the same rights and freedoms as non-cloned humans, but local laws do not support Clone Rights. His ultimate desire is to escape into interstellar society, where he hopes to live outside the boundaries of clone slavery.

2. Robert Flynn is actually a clone of Robert Frederick, and is trying to take his donor-father’s place in society. Tweaked to be more aggressive by virtue of his creation, Robert Flynn has been secretly shifting legal paperwork to insure his role as the legally recognized patron. Robert Frederick discovered the situation, and is attempting to flee offworld before he is hunted down and either enslaved or killed by his more aggressive clone.

3. Both Robert Flynn and Robert Frederick as clones of Sir Robert Francis Williams, who has disappeared when his yacht misjumped. Robert Frederick desires to seek out their lost donor-father, while Robert Flynn wants to preserve the estate of Robert Francis in hopes of their donor-father’s eventual return.

4. As Option 3 above, except that Captain Karen Harris is actually heavily involved in smuggling and piracy, and wants the asteroid to serve as her base of operations. She will attempt to engage the party in supporting Robert Frederick’s right to sell the property, and is not above performing illicit activities in pursuit of her goals. At some point, the Imperial Ministry of Justice or similar law enforcement group become involved, assuming that the crew are in league with the pirate captain.

5. Both Robert Flynn and Robert Frederick are clones of the megacorporate regional manager who created them as potential heirs to his fiscal legacy. The original Robert Williams is monitoring the progress of his clones to determine which one will have the best temperament to take over his responsibilities. This estate sale is one of Robert Frederick’s maneuvers to undermine Robert Flynn’s position in the evaluation process.

6. Neither Robert Flynn nor Robert Frederick are clones. Each has been indoctrinated with the belief that his twin brother is actually a clone as part of an unusual experiment by a deranged research scientist, Dr. Lucius Van Erlenmeyer. A war criminal in hiding, Dr. Erlenmeyer has been exploring various avenues of psychological manipulation and indoctrination, including the implantation of false memories and artificial personalities. He is actively monitoring the escalation of aggression between the two men. Should Dr. Erlenmeyer’s presence be exposed, the war criminal will stop at nothing to remove evidence against him and escape into obscurity. The reward for the capture of Dr. Lucius Van Erlenmeyer, dead or alive, currently sits at MCr 2.

The Noble’s Bobble Head Doll

Patron: Merchant / Broker
Required Skills: nothing special
Required Equipment: jump-capable starship with 5 tons of available cargo space

Players’ Information:
As the PC’s are seeking a cargo to purchase or move, a broker by the name of Barnard Green contacts the ship asking if they can carry a special cargo. It seems that the local noble in charge of this planet/subsector is upset with the fact that a bunch of bobble-head dolls in his likeness were manufactured. The broker asks if the PC’s can haul five tons of this cargo to a destination to a friend of his some dozen parsecs away. Instead of trashing all the dolls he is trying to make some minor profit – or at least break even. He will pay to have the dolls delivered to his friend at +10% above the normal delivery rate (he will go as high as 50%, but not a cent more). (Total lot price = 5,000 credits before the added percentage. Twelve parsecs distance adds 12,000 credits). He will pay half now and his partner will pay the other 50% upon delivery. If the group accepts he will help the group obtain other cargos to help fill their hold (-2 DM on the price modifier for these cargoes), but they must leave the starport within 48 hours.

If the characters pay attention to the local news media, the story seems to be true. Apparently a rival of this noble is seen telling the media that the local noble is a “yes man” and is as empty-headed as the doll. He flicks the head of the doll and says, “See! He agrees to just about anything!” The local noble’s reaction is predictable as he is shown in a half-rage on a local vidclip ripping the head off one of these dolls. The locals spray paint pictures of this doll with an oversized head the very next day as it appears the “offended” noble is the brunt of many a local’s joke.

The Bobblehead - image from wikimedia - Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license
The Bobblehead – image from wikimedia – Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

Referee’s Information:
To say the offended noble is annoyed would be a great understatement. Barnard Green was the person who was the go-between from the manufacturer (who was actually the noble’s rival through a third-party) to the merchants and he is in a very awkward position. He wants to get this last batch out of sight and out of mind as soon as possible. When the PC’s leave the planet he will have a ticket in hand and he will personally leave the planet as quickly as possible.

Outcomes:

1. The offer is legitimate. The cargo is delivered quickly to the PC’s with the cargo identification as “Toys and Novelties” with no hazard attached to the cargo. Barnard’s friend Anton Gaskie will be waiting with the money in hand at the destination to receive the cargo.

2. The offer is legitimate. The noble’s personal guards are seen poking around the starport asking about the whereabouts of Barnard Green. After he helps the crew obtain their cargo he tells them he is outward bound for a “prolonged holiday” on a departing liner. Anton Gaskie will be waiting at the destination as told with the promised money.

3. The offer is legitimate. As the ship is heading outbound the offended noble dispatches a customs ship to board and check the papers of their ship. They ask for a passenger manifest first as they are specifically looking for Barnard Green. As they look through the manifest they may (50% chance) notice the entry of “Toys and Novelties” and they will ask to visually inspect the cargo. If they suspect the PC’s are carrying Barnard’s cargo and they find the dolls they will rip the ship apart looking for other contraband while the customs crew ejects the cargo out the nearest airlock. There will be no compensation. The PC’s will be asked to leave the system.

4. The offer is a front. The anger of the offended noble is true enough, but the bobblehead dolls have an inscription on the bottom that can only be seen when a UV light is shining on their base. Each base contains personal ID’s and bank account data. (There are 1000 dolls per ton). This breach of data may come to haunt the PC’s later on. Anton Gaskie will send a doxy to meet the PC’s at the starport and pay them what was promised.

5. The offer is false. There is no man named Anton Gaskie at the destination. So now the PC’s are stuck with 5 tons of bobble-head dolls that will not exactly endear them to an angry noble back some dozen parsecs. Barnard Green cannot be reached as he took an extended holiday.

6. The offer is a front. Again the offended noble is angry, but the dolls themselves are not what they seem. Inside one out of every ten dolls has a hidden microchip in their head. This chip is filled with valuable information on the local military, including base layouts, Tactical Order and Equipment (TO&E) of the local units, personality profiles of the military leadership, the schematics of the ships assigned to these bases and the ship security passcodes that will allow the manufacture of swipe cards allowing personal access. As in option #3 the crew will be boarded and IF the cargo is discovered (50%) they have a lot of explaining to do. Obviously the ship and cargo will be detained and held for evidence.