The notification on my digipad informed me that my Bounty Hunters’ Guild License was revoked. Not surprising as the avalanche I caused on Umas added to an infractions list that was one too many long.
Time to wrap up my rest & relaxation on Phinto then and figure out what I’m going to do next. Who’s kidding who though, I already what I’m doing next and that’s getting a drink.
I pick the closest bar that isn’t located within my hotel and find myself at The Moondust. It is packed inside which has increased not only the noise level but the warmth. Besides the typical bar seating area there are several white orb shaped backlit booths running along the walls. At the bar I notice a gorgeous figure, with bright pink hair pulled back into pony tail, who is frantically downing a glass of something brown. My kind of person.
“Can I get your next round?”
The figure looks me over and says with a feminine voice “Sure. Yes. Why not?”
I hold up my hand to get the robot bartender’s attention. I introduce myself by name to my new friend and ask what’s troubling them.
“Lost contact with some friends today and the bean counters who run the operation won’t send anyone out to check on them.”
I think to myself that this sounds like a rescue job, though the word “job” might be doing a lot of work in that sentence. I doubt there’s any cash involved. Maybe these friends are dead already and I can avail myself of some newly unnecessary possessions. Or maybe I can be the hero and there’s more work to come from this, or at least a date.
“That’s terrible. What were your friends up to?”
“It is a survey operation for Universal Investments on Lanphin-4.”
“Oh, one of those moons in the Tisan system.”
The troubled face looks at me and their eyes grow big. “You know where this is? How to get there?”
“Yeah, I’ve got a ship even. I could take you to check on your friends.”
They pause for a minute, probably working out the perils of getting into a stranger’s ship, but they tell me their name is Britney. They are a scientist and they would like to check up on their friends. I tell her I am a Bounty Hunter. I leave out the revoked license part.
“I can’t pay.” she says. “Not on what UI pays us. I spent what I had getting here but there’s no ships headed to Tisan for several days. I have a little cred left, I thought I might try my hand at gambling.”
I open and close my mouth a few times as my inner angels and demons argue with each other. Eventually I tell her it is no trouble. I was getting bored of Phinto anyway. I give her coordinates to my docking bay and we trade contact cards on our digipads.
“Meet you at the ship in a few hours?”
She nods and we part ways. I head to the exit and keep my guard up as there are lots of pickpockets looking to take advantage of tourists on Phinto. No such problems today.
After grabbing my things from the Hotel I make my way on Phinto’s surprisingly clean and efficient transit system. I sit down next to an older woman on the tram who places her hand on mine and tells me not to worry, all will be made right. That sufficiently creeps me out so I quickly thank her and stand near the tram doors hoping the train will move faster.
Arriving at my ship I’m surprised to find Britney with a duffel bag slung over her shoulder.
“You’re early.” I tell her as I unlock the ship with my biometrics.
“I was hoping we could leave earlier.”
It is no trouble to me, so I show her to the spare cabin only to find it is filled with miscellaneous ship parts and knick-knacks from my travels. “This would have been cleaned up if you had arrived later of course.” I lie because I honestly would have forgotten that I tossed all that junk in there.
After squaring our stuff away, I head to the cockpit where I bring up the latest Tisan system bulletin which warns of insurgent activity in the system and advises caution. Lanphin-4 is currently off-limits to travellers. Never a boring day in the ’verse.
I look back to my passenger and tell her to “Buckle up” and decide not to share the news bulletin. She was already stressed out at the bar and I don’t need to deal with an anxious passenger for the rest of the trip.
- You can read about the creation of Colfer Lanx on his character page. What little subsector building was done is cataloged on the Frisch Subsector page.
- The day and year I randomly rolled.
- In the beginning Colfer decides to have a “socializing encounter.” This type of procedure is absent in just about every game ruleset I can think of except Two Hour Wargames’ (THW) 5150 New Beginnings. In some ways the THW system is a distant cousin to Starport Scum - both are equally flexible at moving between tabletop and theater-of-the-mind. Many THW games have something called a “Chillin’” encounter - it is a way for your character to head to bar, coffee shop, etc and maybe pickup a job, gamble, meet a friend, or have your pockets picked on the way out. I used the rules loosely from the 5150 book to setup the encounter with Britney Knox.
- Britney’s character was created using the character rules from Word Mill Games’ Adventure Crafter. The prompt was
Beautiful Loud Scientist. The social encounter task resolution was handled using the “Talking it Out” rules from Starport Scum.
- When I needed to figure out what Britney’s conversation focus was I used the Description Meaning tables from the Mythic Gamemaster Emulator, 2nd Edition. That prompt was
- When Colfer made a decent of connection through the “Talking it Out” mechanic I rolled up what I call a “patron mission” from my own Traveller Patron mission tables (itself a mish-mash of many different Traveller patron tables I’ve acquired over the years.) The mission prompt was
Explore a moon or asteroid. Combining
Frantically Importantand this mission prompt led me to the idea that it was more of a exploration mission gone wrong.
- When I wanted to determine where Colfer needed to go next I dropped a d10 and looked at what direction the raised tip was pointing at — that led me to hex 0603.
- Checking for pickpocketing as I left the bar was handled as a Starport Scum “Getting Things Done” check but informed by a similar procedure in 5150.
- Checking for an encounter as I travelled between the Hotel/Bar area and the Starport area was handled as a 5150 Travel Encounter. The random conversation on the tram was because of a Classic Traveller reaction check and then a hastily thrown together character from the Universal-NPC-Emulator (UNE). The prompt was
An elderly clairvoyant suggests patience.
- Occasionally when I wasn’t sure what my character or Britney might know I used a Fate Question from the Mythic GM EMulator. When I needed a name I used the shockingly versatile Names meaning table from the Mythic GM EMulator.
- I wasn’t quite sure how to handle an “encounter check” at my docking bay so I just treated it as a Mythic GM Emulator Scene Check. The scene was
alteredand the scene adjustment table gave me
Add A Character. Not entirely sure who this would be I asked a 50/50 Fate Question about whether it was Britney and got an
- The Tisan system bulletin was generated using a Mythic Variations 2 Detail Check and some meaning tables. The Detail Check prompt was
Focus NPC, after checking my Mythic Character lists I got to choose and figured it was worth it to create a new NPC using the Adventure Crafter. I got
Capable Subverterwhich suggested to me there was rebel activity in the Tisan sector which tells me there is some kind of on-going rebellion. Asking a Fate Question if the rebellion is “raging across the subsector” I get
No. So maybe a localized rebellion or at least one that hasn’t engulfed the subsector yet. It does give us a clue as to what may have happened to Britney’s co-workers. I ask if there’s rebel activity on Lanphin-4 and I get
I won’t always spell out how this stuff comes together, but it is a good example of how I intend to “play ALL the books” - picking and choosing from many different resources as the mood strikes. Also this might seem like a lot of looking up rules or page-flipping but most of these encounter mechanics are things I have memorized from play or have automated in my text-edtior’s macro system.
A final note that it took longer to write up this section of notes than to actually play out the encounter. I enjoy teaching and explaining how I approach solitaire play but there will need to be some times where I set some limits to this exercise so I can continue to enjoy posting session reports.