Travelling the Lanes with Osman Celik, Log 01
Let’s get the basics of the solitaire framework out of the way:
I’m playing a game using the Classic Traveller rules, 1977 edition, mostly sticking to Books 01, 02, and 03 but I do have the entire Classic Traveller collection from Far Future Enterprises so it is all readily accessible as needed.
Ideally the game is taking place in real-time on a daily scale but we may jump ahead in time if it helps move things along. I don’t usually do this but I’m going to try handle bookkeeping in a method faithful to the rules. To begin keeping log entries for Osman’s daily activities I’ll make my life easy and start at day
01. Further, to keep things simple, we’ll assume a standard 365 day a year, 52 week calendar. Does that make scientific sense? No, no it does not. Does it make my life easier? Yes, yes it does.
But what year is it?
4d6: [3, 4, 6, 6]
I generated a character and gave them a backstory already. As a reminder, here’s the details:
Osman Celik, Lt Cmdr 999988 Age 34
Navy (4 terms) Cr6000
Admin-1, Automatic Pistol-1, Computer-1, Cutlass-1, Navigation-1, Pilot-1, Vacc Suit-1, Weapons-0
Cutlass, Low Passage, TAS Membership
In an effort to keep things simple and rely on Traveller as much as possible I’ll use Traveller’s NPC reaction throw as an oracle at times. If you’ve never seen Traveller’s reaction throw table here it is:
|2||Violent. Immediate attack.|
|3||Hostile. Attacks on 5+.|
|4||Hostile. Attacks on 8+.|
|5||Hostile. May attack.|
In general you can think of this as 2-5 Bad!, 6-7 Meh, 8-10 Ok, 11-12 Great!
I’ll use this simple 2d6 yes/no oracle as necessary if the question fits:
|2 or less||No, and|
|12 or more||Yes, and|
DMs: Very unlikely -2, Unlikely -1, Likely +1, Very likely +2
If I roll doubles then I’ll borrow a page from the Recluse Solo Engine:
If the dice are equal, some presupposition behind the question is wrong! This means that you’re taking something for granted that makes it impossible to answer with “Yes” or “No.” If it’s obvious how your question could be assuming something, change it and ask something else. You can also use your favorite plot twist generator if you need to, but keep in mind that the question itself was wrong; you’ll need to revise your assumptions about the situation and the world, not just add something new.
Where necessary I’ll turn to Mythic Gamemaster Emulator’s or Mythic Magazine’s descriptor tables, Starforged’s oracles, Rory’s Story Cubes, and other misc. random tables that can provide descriptive details about the game world.
Allenby B557455-B, 001-3466
Weekly Patron Encounter: 1d6: 5 Yes!
Patron: 2d6: [4, 1] Diplomat
I’m not sure where the idea that Traveller 1977 has a Daily Legal Encounter throw comes from as I can’t find the rule in my little black books. The Traveller Book (1982) does have this to say about daily legal encounters:
“The referee should throw once per day for legal encounters (throw local law level or less to avoid an encounter). If an encounter is called for, a local enforcer will stop the adventurers and require identification. The referee should roll for the enforcer’s reaction as well, using adverse reactions as an indication of greater harassment, and positive reactions as a potential source of rumors, assistance, or patrons.”
I’ve always played with a random legal encounter throw and I don’t see this type of procedure as a form of the negative “scope creep” that the game took on in later editions so I’ll use The Traveller Book’s guidance. (If we are being straight with each other, The Traveller Book is very good; the procedures and rules language are much clearer across the board then the 1977 edition text.)
Starport Law Encounter: 2d6: [1, 3] = 4. Law Encountered, most likely at starport immigration control.
Reaction Throw: 2d6: [6, 2] = 8. “Interested” (in a positive way).
Osman Celik picks up his bags and boards a routine passenger shuttle from Allenby Orbital Naval Base that is heading to the planet-side downport. As the shuttle approaches the surface, he can see the Centaurus Works shipyards, their insignia blazoned on the roofs of all the workshops. A network of pipelines from the refineries to the east led to a big fuelling station.
There are two main settlements on Allenby, each with a few ten thousand permanent inhabitants. Old Gaepri is built around the retired starport facilities which are being scrapped to help build the expanded starport facilities at New Gaepri. Many more people temporarily live and work on Allenby depending on the needs of the corporation but are not counted as part of the official population; only the most wealthy can afford to own a home here.
Osman enters the well staffed but presently quiet immigration control area.
“Credentials please, Lieutenant Commander.”
“Rank: Characters receiving commissions and promotions (explained below) may use their rank as part of their names, even after leaving the service, or retiring.” — Traveller Book 01 (1977)
Osman, still in naval dress, hands over his identity card to an immigration official who promptly scans the card.
“Thank you, Lieutenant Commander Celik. Purpose of visit?”
“Visiting a friend who lives in Old Gaepri, I plan to stay about a month.”
The immigration official makes notes on Osman’s digital records. “I’m from Old Gaepri, it is a beautiful city. It appears you have…” the official looks closely at Osman’s digital file “… not visited before?”
“That’s right, this is my first time on Allenby.”
“And where will you be staying during your visit?”
Can Osman stay with his “Old Friend”? feels like an NPC Reaction Throw:
2d6: [3, 6] = 9 “Intrigued.” That’s a yes in my book.
“I’m staying at my friend’s apartment, she gave me this address.” Osman holds up an e-mail from his personal communicator for the official to see. The official nods and turns back to their attention back to their computer.
“You should make time to check out the Badri art exhibit while you are in town.” says the official who has finished their record keeping and hands back Osman’s identity card along with a bottle.
“What is this?” ask Osman
“This is two weeks of medical supplements to help your body adjust to the lower gravity conditions on Allenby. You may show your identity card at any Zenith Pharmacy location to obtain another two week dosage. Enjoy your stay.”
Random Weather Encounter: 1d6: 6
Weather intensity: 2d6: [4, 4]-2 = 6
Average Temp on Allenby: 50°F (No seasonal changes)
Osman passes through immigration and collect his belongings. A steady beat of large rain drops gently fall against the exterior windows. Once out of the starport he notices that the air is thin and the buildings from the two competing but compact skylines are very tall. There are many pine trees and odd rock formations around the starport, the kind he’s only previously seen while studying at school. It is a far more picturesque planetside view than anything Osman has experienced in his 34 years though certainly he has seen his fair share beautiful nebulae and astronomic wonders.
Osman grabs a local air/raft taxi and heads to Old Gaepri.
Random Person Encounter (5+) 1d6: 3 None.
What does Osman’s friends place look like?
Mythic locations descriptors, general:
The taxi descends down to the ground near a tall building that is a strong contrast to the sleek and mostly glass starport Osman came from. The building has three different tones of fabulous looking metals with ornate engravings. Osman has also started to notice a pattern; many people on Allenby are much taller and thinner than others. Osman walks to the front door of the building and an attendant greets him at the entrance. After some discussion, Osman is led to an elevator which lifts him up towards the top of the building. Osman exits the elevator, walks through a narrow and twisting set of hallways before coming to a door that is already open.
“Lieutenant Commander, good to see you.” Dame Havva Taş moves in for the kind of hug shared between old friends. Osman is surprised by this show of affection as it is less formal than Commander Taş has even been with him.
Releasing from her embrace, Osman asks “Commander… Dame.. I’m not sure what title to use? Both?”
“Dame is fine, Osman.” she closes the door and motions towards the living room. “I was just checking over the apartment to make sure it was ready for your arrival.”
“Is this your home? It is a lovely building.”
“My family owns several apartments on Allenby, this one was recently renovated and unoccupied for the moment. Come, sit. We’ll share some tea and catch up.”
Osman sets his bags down and joins Havva for tea. The two trade stories of their lives over the past couple of years. Finally Havva comes to the point of Osman’s visit.
There’s any number of methods to generate a Patron mission. For this one I’ll use Felbrigg Herriot’s Game Planner. It is a series of nested tables that you can roll on for as long as you like to generate a scenario.
- Table 1 - Type of Scenario: 1d6 5 Trade (6)
- Table 6 - Type of Trade: 1d6 3 Cargo (32)
- Table 32 - Cargo: 1d6 3 Industrial Gems (27)
At this point I have an idea.
Havva begins “I have a friend, a diplomat, they are trying to negotiate a deal with Danilov for a new type of starship glass. Danilov is being typically stubborn and protective of their industrial secrets but the diplomat would like to obtain a sample of the glass material so that our own scientists on Allenby may verify the properties it is claimed to have.”
“Danilov, that’s several parsecs from here.” notes Osamn
“The representatives from Danilov are on Allenby now and have a sample of the material with them. They’ve displayed it at meetings but will not let us get our hands on it. We need to borrow the sample, run the tests, and return it before they notice it is missing.”
“You know I’m more of a pilot than a thief?”
“I’m willing to trust you more than a common thief. The job pays Cr10000 and would help you establish your name outside of the Navy. Reputation, Mr. Celik is how you get to pick and choose your employers.”
Osman stands and walks over to a nearby window. Looking out over Old Gaepri he appreciated just how lucky he had been up until now. He pondered the job, thinking about the elements of risk and the rewards. Most likely the worse that could happen is that he is caught, disavowed by anyone connected, and then sent off to work in a Allenby Unified factory under a labor contract. The Taş family appeared to have weathered the storm of scandal and he knew that Havva had many connections. The type of work Havva could offer would pay far better and open many more doors.
“Are you in, Osman?”
“I’m your man, Dame.”
Captain Devika Verma 697A78 Gambling-2, Admin-1, Tactics-1, Rifle-1, SMG-1
“Excellent. I will set up a meeting with an associate of mine, Devika Verma. They will have all the details you need. If you need to contact someone for information or assistance, Devika will be your point person, Understood?
Osman understood Havva to mean she should not be contacted directly about corporate espionage. She had earned a position that allowed her to keep her good name clean.
“Now, put business out of your mind for the rest of the evening, dear Osman. You and I shall go out to dinner, my treat.”
I’m not sure I’ll go into this much real-time detail for every log entry… but I wanted to establish some descriptive and factual details for life on Allenby.
I’m remembering now that later versions of Traveller disentangles Rumors from Patrons. In the 1977 edition a Patron Encounter could lead to rolling a “Rumor” entry on the Patron table. In The Traveller Book (1982) the “Rumor” entries are removed from the Patron table and instead there is an entire weekly Rumor encounter system with it is own table.
I’m likely to pull the Rumor table into my game as I like the ocular nature of the Rumor table. For now I will keep the Rumors as-is (embedded into the Patron throw and tables) but if it seems like I am missing something from the Patron/Rumor experience it is possible I might pull in the weekly Rumor throw and swap out the ’77 Patron tables for those in the ’82 book as well.
At this point you might be asking… why not just use The Traveller Book? It is not a bad question but for now I’m going try to sticking to the rules in the 1977 books as much as I can.