Monday, September 3, 2012

Leadup to an adventure on Garrison 015-028 1112

The Narrative
Trak enters the Garrison system alone on his scout ship....

An uneventful trip to Garrison's downport.  Berthing was uneventful.  Unloading the passengers was uneventful.
Uneventful is OK but dull.  Trak thought.  Maybe just a little excitement?  But only a little. Careful what you wish for Trak.  And stop talking to yourself in the third person.

He put the word out that he was looking for some crew, using some old scout networks and banking on the fact that Garrison limitations on population movement was always a good source of restless people wanting to get offworld.  By mid-week he had 20 applicants but none really stood out as a good fit.

In between perusing applications he did manage to find a extraordinary broker who sold the Blades at a decent profit. With the passengers revenue and the tidy sum from the cargo, Trak was feeling a bit more comfortable.  The Not for Home was going to need major repairs soon, and no money equals no repairs equals Not for Home taken off him and given to some other ex-Scout.

He scanned the 21st application - ex-merchant Jem Narvik.  She listed a range of skills - pilot, navigator, gunner, medic.  No steward and no air/raft driving experience but it was a good overlap and someone that could actually operate the ship's guns would be a bonus.  And the medical skills should be useful for potential passenger injuries.  He arranged an interview for the next day.

Jem was far more attractive that her application implied.  Not beautiful in the classic sense, but alluring.  And Jem thought Trak more attractive than an employer has a right to be. After a few minutes of introductory chat, Jem realised that Trak was far more attractive than an employer has a right to be. She flew some caution to the wind and tested the water with expressions and wordplay thousands of years old.

She's flirting with me! Trak realised and thought for a moment more. I like that.
The conversation went for another hour - both realising the attraction was mutual but neither yet willing to move further.
"If you want the job, it is all yours - Cr650 week for someone with your skills.  You'll be on trial for six months. When can you start?"
"I can be at the ship tomorrow."
"See you tomorrow then Jem."
The parting handshake lingered.  You could cut the sexual tension with a knife.
"See you tomorrow." Jem purred.

Jem met Trak tomorrow morning at the ship and immediately they starting hunting for some cargo.  It was fruitless, as was the next few days. Jem knew her way around the Garrison cargo ports.  The only speculative goods were well out of their current financial range.
It was Jem that suggested they move well outside the city to find some less expensive cargo.  She suggested a more rural area several hundred kilometres to the west where she had managed to obtain bargains in the past.  And she had also obtained some authorisation papers to allow Trak and Jem back into the spaceport withoug going through the normal Garrison checkpoints.
Breaking out the air/raft, Trak and Jem spent hours negotiating a pass to travel outside the city before managing to arrive at their destination ok.
"I may not know much about grav vehicles, but you really need to look into this one." Jem commented on the rough ride.
"It came with the Not for Home. It is not high on my list to replace."
"You need to move it up higher if you want me to keep taking trips in it!"

The very next day at a small trading station, Jem found someone selling a extremely cheap lot of timber and got enough to fill the Not for Home cargo bay.  When he had hired her, Trak had not realised - but should have with her merchant background - that Jem would be much better at cargo speculation than him.
While Jem was busy organising to have the wood shipped back to the starship, Trak was outside waiting when  Don Kriegsfield and some of his advisors pulled up.  Don, the Garrison Minister for the Interior was on a campaign trail though his electorate.
Though you have to wonder why - he's popular enough as it is. Trak thought.  While not up on Garrison politics, it was hard to avoid the sell job that was Don Kriegsfield - his image seemed to be everywhere.
After some polite chit-chat and Don realising Trak was not from Garrison, he asked if Trak was interested in a bit of security work, "You see, I've been having some threats against me recently.  Mostly from around here.  Probably only for a week or so until I get back to the city.  How about it?"
Trak was not that interested, "Not really Don, I may be busy for the next few days."
Don did not seem the least bit fazed, "No problem, but if you are looking for a bit of less dangerous work, my sister-in-law owns a ranch not far from here and could do with a bit of a hand - some animal has been taking some of her stock."
 Don gave Trak his sister-in-law details and moved his charm onto another group before moving out.
A little while later, Jem comes out out of the trading station.
"Jem, you will never guess..."

What the flowchart and tables generated
Week 03: 0015-0021
Sold the Blades cargo using a Broker-4 (need to make certain of a profit) for Cr100,000 (Cr10,000/ton) plus the other cargo for 17,000.
6 middle class passengers at Cr8,000 each is Cr48,000 minus 7 people stateroom overhead at 2,000 each (Cr14,000) = Cr36,000 profit.
Unrefined fuel (25t at Cr100/t), living expenses (Cr600), berthing fees for the coming week (cr150).
Trak's credit balance = Cr188,900.  Not bad.

Opportunity to hire someone: Generated Jem Narvik ex-merchant for hire (1001 characters merchant number 13):
Captain  7699A6     Age 38   5 terms      Cr50,000
Pilot-1, Bribery-2, Medic-2, Mechanical-1, Navigation-1, Gunnery-2, Computer-0, Wheeled Vehicle-0, Gun-Combat-0, Vacc Suit-0

Salary is 650 per week (using MT Imperial Encyclopedia).

Wow!  A pretty good fit.  I also randomly generated a homeworld (Garrison, where we are!) and gave her (I rolled for gender) background skills. Rolled for a random trait (from MgT) and got "attracted to player character".  Rolled routine task to see if this is returned by Trak.  Positive reaction.  I will need to create a table for interpersonal relationships between the party.

Cargo to buy is 3 Air/rafts at Cr210,000 each.  Can't afford them. Damn.  Will move to the rural area to see if any cargo going there.  Detected and event is can buy a map showing how to get into one area undetected - picked spaceport.

Subsector events:
Kamiri begins subversive offensive against Tampo. Interesting.  Tampo is between Magbis (that Kamiri started a subversive offensive against last week).  That sounds like a reason.
Monsten and Kamiri are already in a subversive offensive (prior to start of campaign); Monsten launches a political attack on Magbis.

Week 04: 0022-0028
Berthing fees now Cr700/week.
Trak's credit = Cr186,950
Jem's credit = Cr50,350

Hear a rumour - will call it a patron bonus for next time.

Finding Cargo- being rural I will state that the first die roll can only be 1 or 3 (for the CT cargo table).  As much wood as I can fit I will give a DM of -3 to the price (as Ag is a DM of -6 so rural can be 1/2 that).  Jem's Bribery-2 comes in handy get is for Cr400/ton (so 27 times 400 = Cr10,800). I have updated the tables page with this info for future reference.
I will roll for the region of the patron rumour - Rural.  Already there.  Roll for detection - yes. Result - meet an NPC.  Hmm.. What does that mean?  I think I will use MgT 760 patrons (which are more like NPC encounters than patrons).  Rural will be Citizens and roll a Famous Politician (we will call him...Don Kriegsfield who is looking for extra security.  Assume the job is just for the Rural area for the next week (wow! a patron event in 760 Patrons). Law Level B means Trak is carrying no weapons and he is not that great in gun combat anyway so roll to see if Trak declines - yep.  Is politician upset (confrontation task) - no.

For the following week I rolled a patron (on a ranch) so linked the politician to the ranch owner and the source of the patron rumour.  Ranch adventure in a followup post.

I think I may have gone overboard with the narrative! But I am sure I will get the balance better as I go.


  1. The narrative makes a nice read, and I like that you then work through the actual rolls afterwards to show what you're doing.

  2. Nice to see another update! I've been running my own solo MgT game and it's very interesting to see how someone else is doing it, although I was kind of surprised at the end of your mechanics section to see that you rolled for whether Trak accepted the bodyguard job. Do you plan to use that as your primary approach (assigning odds and rolling for what the central PC does) or did you just handle it that way because you felt unsure of what he would do?

    The other major question I have about your report is the subsector events... Where are you getting those from? After your previous post, I picked up the pdf version of T4 Pocket Empires on the assumption that they must have been coming from there, but no such luck. (Not that I'm complaining about Pocket Empires, mind you. It was already on my to-buy list. The hopes of finding the subsector events table there just moved it to the top of the list.)

    1. Real Life got in the way of the update. I am hoping to do them at least weekly, but Real Life cannot be predicted. I rolled for Trak to accept the bodyguard job as the actual job had nothing else described for it than it was a bodyguard job, so I was hoping he would decline (which he did). 76 Patrons and the other patron books at least have an outline of what a job would entail. 760 patrons is not good on actually outlining a job but better at random NPC encounters. Trak is the current central PC, but I expect to get a few other PCs along the way. At the moment Jem would be a NPC but if she hangs around a bit longer, I will need to promote her :-)

      On subsector events, they are from Pocket Empires but they are based on relationships, not the event table. I have a short paragraph on what I do in the Marlene subsector page but here it is anyway:

      Relationship Code:
      I did roll up each planets relationship with every other world in the subsector. A few are at political attack but with worlds jump-3 away. There are about 250 relationships (just numbers between 1 and 15 where 1 is war and 15 is nearly a single unit). In Pocket Empires, you do metatasks that increase or decrease relationship levels. I will each week randomly roll (with a small chance) for increases or decreases in relationships.

      More detail: Normally relationships are between pocket empires but does suggest you can do it for worlds within a pocket empire. So I did - I cannot remember what I did exactly but I think a simple 2d6 giving 2 to 12. Anyway, once per week there is a 1/70 chance of each relationship going down, and a 1/70 chance of each relationship going up (I use an excel spreadsheet to do this). So subversive offensives are relationship level 2, and war at level 1. A level 2 went to level 1 in the first week, making it quite interesting. Where did I get 1/70? I think I remember working out in my head that would give about 4-5 changes per week and maybe a war every couple of years at most. But 250 relationships, there was going to be about 7 at level 2 at the start (I had 10) and with a 1/70 chance of going down, that meant a war starting every 7 weeks (sort of, as there is a chance of it going up too but you get the idea). I am going to move to monthly rolling soon as it is too hard to track anyway, even with a sheet.

      Relationships are in chapter 7 near the end (page 93ff), with the table at the end of the book with all the other tables. For any that are undertaking metatasks (e.g. subversion, war) I will roll the metatask a year after they started. It may be quite a simplified metatask as I don't have a lot of the key attributes to do a decent metatask.

      There is a lot of good stuff in pocket empires to run the background for the subsector, but I was taking so long setting it all up and I just wanted to play so stopped with a simple implementation. I am going to randomly make popularity go up and down, but only once a year. Popularity is a factor in Domestic Situation (chapter 6) which I plan to roll once per year.

    2. ..and just realised I did not actually answer the question of rolling for the bodyguard job. I was going to just have Trak/the party automatically accept Patron jobs. I was not expecting the randowm NPC to be a potential patron, and really did not think I could do it justice without any description going with it. So I rolled for it. But your question did raise something I had not thought of before - I will roll when I am not certain how Trak would respond to a situation.

      I nearly went with MgT but I am familiar with MT so went with that, but as you can see I am borrowing from everywhere. I do have a dozen or so MgT books so could always switch later on.

  3. Thanks for your comment. My idea is to do all the entries this way so readers can see how the mechanisms translate into the story. Occasionally I may include some notes on how I am finding the mechanisms. A a few thousand words per Trak week, I don't know if I can keep it up, but I am out of practice with fiction writing (having done nearly none for 25 years), so writing narrative is not a bad thing. I can only get better. And meeting a love interest is a rare enough event that I could afford to spend a few more words on it.

  4. another great episode - thanks. Really enjoy reading these especially with the breakdown afterwards of how you got there. Have been wondering about getting pocket're description suggests t me that a more simplified framework like your one done in excel might work for me better.

  5. Very cool stuff. I too enjoy the narration followed by mechanics, keep it up as you can.

    1. Thanks. I will keep it going in that format. I love writing but am not that great at it, and doing it for each post will keep me motivated and hopefully improve.

  6. Where you gone to fella?

    Been loving your work so far........

  7. I have been on a holiday with the family in New Zealand for the last few weeks and only got back last night. Hopefully the posts will continue a bit more regularly soon.

  8. Nice start. I, too, am considering a solo Traveller game.

    I enjoyed reading what you are using to create your adventures and scenarios.

    I'll be using the Mongoose Traveller with components from the solo Star Wars adventure from Shadis (Corellian Smuggler) as well as what I can skim from Star Smuggler.

    Look forward to seeing more here.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I have been really busy still but have nearly finished the adventure at the ranch. MgT is probably a better Traveller version to use, but I *know* MegaT so went with that. I will have to look up the solo Star Wars.

  9. What Kobold and the others said about the narrative and the game mechanics disassembly.
    I know nothing about Solo MegaTraveller but when I played in a group it was a fantastical freewheeling eye-opener of possibilities to me. And am strongly attracted to what sounds like (only what I have read in this blog so far) of the dicerolling method of generating gameplay/storyline: pure gaming, just add imagination!! Will read on if you keep writing it up, it's real paperback science fantasy!

  10. Les,

    thanks for the comments. Work is busy after "rightsizing", and I am rennovating a house and getting a flat ready to rent out. Gaming seems to be about 3rd on the list. But Christmas holidays are coming, and I will attempt to devote most of my spare time to this blog.