Solitaire Gaming From the Future

Starport Scum - Extra Resources

Starport Scum - Extra Resources

Here are three additional resources you can use in your Starport Scum campaigns. (Starport Scum you say? What’s that? Look at my Forgotten Gem” post to see a quick intro to what the game is about.)

Starport Scum Reference Sheet

First, an improved reference sheet for Starport Scum. One sheet, back and front. While there is a reference sheet in the back of the core book I wanted some additional details such as fumble tales, social, & task rules.

This document is shared with the approval of Ivan Sorensen (because it contains text directly from the core rules.)

Starport Scum Revised Job Tables

While I like the jobs in the core rules and Starport Scum Bils to Pay” New Jobs Guide expansion I find the tables are too inconsistent and unorganized for my tastes. Inspired by Shaun Travers 4 Dice SFRPG Tables” style I reorganized the jobs into a more compact and consistent format. Roll 2d6 to select a job table and then roll 4 dice and (in-order) to grab a result from each column. Take the result and use them to build out your job encounter. Entries marked with an asterisk” earn you an additional Fistful of Credits” on top of the starting pay of 1 for all jobs. In addition this includes a new job Courier” which covers your usual things like point-to-point delivery, passengers, smuggling, etc.

I’ve purposely kept things fairly abstract - the idea is to give you prompts as to why you are throwing minis down to battle on the tabletop. I think this is in the spirit of all Nordic Weasel Games titles - we want to have a miniatures battle but also want to have a bit of story too. If you need additional details about your patron there are approximately 100 different RPG supplements (many for Stars Without Number or Traveller) that will give you all the NPC details you need.

Expanded Patron Resources

Starport Scum Flavor Tables

Finally, on my jobs table sometime you might roll up an executive” or bureaucrat.” In these case you might want to know about what type of work the corporation does or how the government functions. Likewise you might also want to know more about the Starport services or the Planet surface. So here’s one page of a bunch of common details you might need to build out a more detailed environment for your Scum battles. Not too much detail, just enough.”

Good Hunting fellow Scummers.

Starport Scum Crew Creation House Rules

Starport Scum Crew Creation House Rules

Number of Starting Traits

The core rules of Starport Scum define the starting dice pool for a character and also offer a table where you can roll to determine a random number of starting traits based on character class. This is suitable for a new campaign but if you are converting from an existing game to Starport Scum you might want some guidance how to pick a reasonable number of starting traits. I suggest the following system:

Character Class Dice Pool # of Traits
Goon 2 0
Bruiser 2 1
Ace 3 2
Hero 3 4+

I am primarily basing this on two sources:

  1. Core rules, Assigning Traits”, page 44
  2. The Faction subsystem that came with the Starport Scum Storyteller’s Guide.

The Assigning Traits section contains this table:

Roll Ace Hero Player Character
1 1 1 2
2 1 2 2
3 1 2 3
4 2 3 3
5 2 3 4
6 3 4 5

(Player characters are used for campaigns where each player controls a single character only.”)

The Faction subsystem gives this guidance for creating a Faction:

Status Dice Pool Number of traits
Minor, trivial or insignificant 2 0
Modest 2 1
Expansive 3 2
Major power player 3 3
Defining in its field 4 4+

I think these status labels map pretty well to the character classes:

  • Goons are minor or trivial characters
  • Bruisers are modest characters with human average abilities in most areas and possibly one area that they have some specialization in
  • Aces are expansive” characters in that their role in the story is like a co-star”
  • Heros are major power players in the story

Number of Character Classes per Crew

Again there is a system in the core book where you can randomly roll to generate the composition of your crew. For an established crew I think having an array of pre-defined choices makes more sense. For this I suggest the following options:

  • 2 Heroes
  • 1 Hero and 2 Aces
  • 4 Aces
  • 1 Hero, 1 Ace, 2 Bruisers
  • 3 Aces and 2 Bruisers
  • 1 Hero and 4 Bruisers
  • 2 Aces and 4 Bruisers
  • 1 Aces and 6 Bruisers

I don’t suggest the use of Goons for PC characters as I think they work better for NPC minions.”

(Thanks to Scott Pyle’s Super Skirmish Gaming for the example starting team arrays which I’ve borrowed and mapped to the Starport Scum classes.)

Starting Gear

Page 46 says:

All characters will begin the game with a basic firearm and any mundane equipment needed.”

This should cover most of your needs when starting with existing characters. If you have characters that have specialized gear (the game builds these out using gear TAGS & CONDITIONS - which are just TRAITS by another name) then I’d recommend giving Aces character 1 piece of cool gear and Heroes up to 2 pieces of cool gear.

I hope these tips help you get your Starport Scum game off the ground!

Starport Scum, a Forgotten Gem

Starport Scum, a Forgotten Gem

Back in 2016, Nordic Weasel Games published a title called Starport Scum written by Ivan Sorensen and Mathew Sparkes. It is a quirky narrative miniatures wargame”, much like Two Hour Wargames’ 5150 RPG line (Fringe Space, No Limits, New Beginnings, etc.) This means that there is about an equal amount of support for RPG-like activities as there are miniatures like ones.

The game’s basic mechanic is this:

Roll Dice Pool = Character Class +/- TRAITS

Your character class is going to be one of Goon, Bruiser, Ace, Hero” and TRAITS are the sorta thing you see in a lot of Indie RPG titles: freeform keywords that have mechanical weight. TRAITS are written in all caps which is handy to keep track of them.

Like any good miniatures game there are all manner of rules about activation, initiative, movement, shooting, fighting, stabbing, throwing grenades, etc. It is not overly complicated but there is a solid framework that works best with any 15mm to 28mm individually based figures you have but can be scaled up or down without much effort.

There’s also several story mechanics for Doing Things” from picking locks, talking things out, finding clues, etc.

If you boil it down to the basics you are going to be rolling anywhere from 2 the 5 d6 dice, looking for 5s or 6s, and comparing the result to a table like this:

# of Successes Result
0 Failure
1 Success w/ consquence
2 Success
3+ Success w/ bonus

There are specific tables for each system in the game but mostly they abstract to this range of results. You shoot someone and get one 5 or 6? Then you have PINNED them down. PINNED is a TRAIT, and it has specific rules that could impact the figure’s movement. In an expansion to the game getting that lone success might make the opposing figure PINNED but would also allow them to Return Fire (ala, Two Hour Wargames Chain Reaction-style shooting system.) If you had scored two or more successes you could deal damage to the figure (with the opposing figure having a chance to make a damage saving throw.)

The core rules come with a lot of random tables to help build the story around why you are having miniatures battles. A lot of tables. In fact if you’ve read the 3rd edition of Five Parsecs From Home (“5P) you will see a lot of familiar topics. There were a number of expansions to Starport Scum that added rules for more guns, loot, vehicles, additional jobs to be done, etc. It has a lot of support in that area even though the game is not ring actively worked (though there are not canned” scenarios - in general you will randomly roll up an encounter: the tabletop terrain, opposing force size, the extra circumstances, the goal, etc.)

I don’t have an extensive collection of miniatures or terrain - I have a lot of 2D battle boards, counters, paper figures, and even my custom-painted space smuggler” meeples. As such this type of loose game framework is very much to my liking. I do enjoy a good dice pool but I never want to roll 20 dice - the 5D cap makes it very reasonable and solo friendly. I like that there are miniatures rules as it helps me as a solo player work out the details of combat in a way that seems less arbitrary than entirely relying on theater-of-the-mind but I also like that the game has rules for you doing not combat things. As you’ve seen in my various actual plays, space is dangerous. Getting into firefights every session would be a great way to roll up an entirely new crew once a week and I prefer my crew to stick around for a few episodes.

Why Starport Scum over 5150 you might ask? Solid question! I think the opened-ended TRAIT system (which is extended in the core rules to work for gear, weapons, conditions, etc) plays nicely into a solitaire game. I’m often already writing down WORDS that mean things I need to remember for my game’s state.” If I mark a word in ALL CAPS that’s a great reminder to myself that something happened in this game that influences the mechanics. Feels like less bookkeeping that way. I will say that Starport Scum’s job engine (encounter system) and advancement system are not as fine tuned as that in the 5150 titles - Encounters and Rep” are very well done in the THW line. I think the streamlined mechanics of Scum are a solid benefit over some of the nuances that are found across the THW titles. I can keep the Scum mechanic in my head without any page flipping. I don’t think one is necessarily head & shoulders better than the other though - so it comes down to a matter of your own preferences.

Travelling the Lanes, Log 06

Travelling the Lanes with Osman Celik, Log 06

Morning on Allenby B557455-B, 013-3466, Old Gaepri, Residential District

A lone Cr900 bottle of liquor stands on a small table in Osman’s apartment. Osman is having breakfast, pacing the room, and occasionally pauses to stare back at the bottle. He sighs, pockets his hand computer, grabs the bottle, and leaves the apartment.

Carderas Assets HQ, please.” says Osman as he climbs into a air taxi.

Driver reaction: 2d6: [6, 5] = 11 Enthusiastic.
Possibly a chance for some chit-chat, maybe about the news.

Custom Random News Headline (51,35): Escaped bioweapon, on a red zone planet

The drive nods and strikes up a conversation. You hear what they are saying happened on Gough?”

The terraforming accident?” questions Osman.

Nah, that’s the official line. My pal in the service told me it was a bioweapon experiment gone wrong.”

Bioweapon. Sure, could be…” Osman trails off more focused on his next steps. The Driver continues chatting about other elaborate conspiracy theories they believe are destroying the galaxy.

Morning on Allenby B557455-B, 013-3466, New Gaepri, Carderas Assets HQ

Mythic Meanings - locations, general: Tall, Echo

The air taxi pulls up to a narrow glass building that reaches quite a ways up - like many of the natives on Allenby. Once inside the interoir is lit with a sterile blue glow and Osman’s boots echo across a mostly empty interoir featuring an reception desk and panel of elevators.

I’m here to see Duchess Valencia Carderas.” says Osman cooly.

Do you have an appointment?” asks the receptionist.

Osman places the bottle on top of the reception desk.

Receptionist reaction 2d6: [3, 6] = 9 Intrigued.

One moment, please have a seat.” says the receptionist as they tap an earpiece. Call Valencia Carderas. Hello, I have an individual downstairs that I think you will want to know about.”

Osman takes the bottle back and sits down on a stainless steel bench. He hears a whirring sound, looks up, and notices a camera is pointed at him.

Valencia (presumably via an assistant) reaction: 2d6: [1, 1] = 2 Violent. Immediate attack.

Guards surprise, 1d6: [2]
Osman surprise, 1d6: [5] surprise achieved

ESCAPE AND AVOIDANCE A party which has achieved surprise may always avoid an encounter by so stating. — Book 01, Characters & Combat

Initial range; 2d6-5: [1, 4]-5 = 0 (1: Short)

Besides the bench and reception desk is there anything else Osman could use? 2d6: [2, 5] = 7 Yes, but
Going to assume it is like oversized, extremely heavy planters. He can’t move them but he could run to them if desired.

Moments later the elevator bell rings, the doors open, and two extremely large people dressed in dark black formal suits step out. Osman frowns and ducks behind the bench, attempts to turn it over as an obstacle, and makes a run for the door.

The bench must be heavy, so Throw under 7 (STR 9, -DM 2): 2d6: [6, 5] = 11 Nope.

They look directly at Osman, pull out a pair of SMGs, and open fire. Glass is shredded to pieces and people on the street start running in panic. Osman is out the door and running for his life. He darts down an alley…

  • Daily Legal Encounter (5-) 2d6-5: [6, 6] = 7 None. (-5 DM as a shots fired” modifier)
  • Daily Person Encounter (5+) 1d6: [5] Yes.
  • Random Person: (1d610) + 1d6: ([6]10)+[5] = 65 GMs choice”
    • Reaction: 2d6: [6, 6] = 12 Genuinely friendly.
    • Adventure Crafter, Character Identity: Athlete, Thief
    • Adventure Crafter, Character Descriptors: Arrogant, Helpful

… and sees a air/raft hover off the ground.

Get in.”

Osman hesitates and looks behind him again.

You got another option? Otherwise, get in. I’m your guardian angel.”

Osman climbs into the car and the pair head skyward to the traffic lanes.

Who are you?” asks Osman.

We have a mutual friend… and enemy it seems. You are either really brave or extremely dumb to waltz into Carderas like that.”

Where are we headed, the starport?” Osman takes a look around and infers their destination from their surroundings.

Yes. Nivelle to be exact.”

Nivelle? That’s clear across the subsector. I’m not going there.”

You are a pilot right? I need a pilot. I hear you need credits too. I can help with that as well.”

Mythic Meanings, starships: Automated, Colorful

The vehicle passes through the starport checkpoints and descends towards a docking bay. On the pad is a ship painted safety orange” and a set of robots are working on the ship.

How did you know to find me? You work for Havva?”

You ask a lot of questions, son. You run your mouth like that at Carderas? No wonder they wanted to shut you up.”

Run my mouth? I didn’t even get to talk to anyone.”

Run with my crew for a bit and you’ll learn to take care of yourself. The pay will be good and, at least for tonight, no one will be shooting you.”

Osman considered his options. They seemed extremely thin at the moment. The air/raft came to a rest near their starship. One of the small robots interacted with the ship and a landing dock lowered down.

One job. I pilot you to Nivelle and you get me back here?” said Osman.

Could be one job. Could be more. Right now you’ve angered a crime family that wants to shoot you on sight apparently. Why you would want to come back here beats me.”

You bring me back here or no deal.”

The air/raft, now docked inside the ship, came to a stop. The driver exited the vehicle and Osman followed.

Look, I can bring you back here when the heat simmers down. I hear you are good pilot, why would you want to be dead instead?” said the Driver.

I have family.”

Best we leave them out of this.”

What do I call you?”

Custom Random Space Opera Names: Jet Reth (lol, what even is this name?)

Captain will do for now.” says the driver.

One of the small robots, with narrow legs, hastily walks towards Captain Jet Reth.

C-C-Captain Reth, repairs are complete and the ship is ready to depart.”

Reth pats the robots on the head and it walks itself over to what appears be a purpose-built docking station for the robot itself. The other small robots follow suit and lock-in to their own stations.

Ready to earn your pay? We’ll need docking clearance and navigation solution to Nivelle. The jump gate to Pershing should be open. I assume you can work out the rest?”

Your charts are up to date?”

Just downloaded the latest data. That is assuming these buckets of bolts did what I asked.”

Is this the crew’?” Osman makes a show of putting sarcastic air quotes around the word crew as he says it.

I this the whole crew, unlikely? 2d6-1: [5, 4]-1 = 8 Yes.

Yep, that’s them.”

What the hell do you do exactly?”

I get into places that don’t want to be gotten into.”

Ok. Just show me to the bridge.”

The pair climb several ladders until they reach an area with some familiar navigation equipment.

That’s a military grade sensor computer… where did you get this stuff?”

I have friends too, Osman.”

What happened to your last pilot?”

For a moment the Captain looks distant. They had to leave the crew. It was their time.” after a quiet moment Reth continues So, the seat is yours. You can adjust it… you know play with all the knobs later if you like but get us moving first.”

Yes, Captain.”

GM Notes

Osman definitely doesn’t do things I would do but to me the spirit of Traveller is playing the character. Osman has enough raw ability to be good at many things but he’s also fairly young (in the grand scheme of things) and naive. If it wasn’t for the surprise I think he’d wound up seriously injured at the Carderas HQ (possibly even dead if I thought the dice wanted that strongly enough.)

This whole Captain Reth storyline is just purely what came to mind with the random tables rolls. A random person encounter, that is one of the blank entries and the reaction roll is a 12? What else could it be then someone dropped into Osman’s world ready to change their life? The Adventure Crafter character suggestions painted a picture to me of one of those brash, bold smuggler captain types. I just ran with that first picture that came into my mind.

Was Havva Taş having Osman watched and stepped in? I don’t honestly don’t know and I’ll leave it to the dice to tell me. For now we get to go visit another world (and maybe another ruleset.)

Travelling the Lanes, Log 05

Travelling the Lanes with Osman Celik, Log 05

Been sick with the flu so this gameplay report has taken a while to post.

Morning on Allenby B557455-B, 012-3466, New Gaepri Starport

Daily rolls:

  • Daily Legal Encounter (5-), 2d6: [2, 5] = 7. None.
  • Daily Weather Encounter (5+), 1d6: [2]. None.
  • Daily Person Encounter (5+) 1d6: [6]. Yes.
    • (1d610) + 1d6: ([5]10)+[2] = 52 3, Traders - again?
      • From the same group of Traders Osman ran into before? 2d6: [6, 4] = 10 Yes
    • Reaction: 2d6: [3, 1] = 4 Hostile. Attacks on 8+.
      • Attacks? 2d6: [1, 1] = 2

Look, Silvie, it is the numbnuts who asks too many questions.” says a gruff looking Trader who catches Osman looking at them.

3d44: [10, 18, 15] 1001 Characters, Thugs (Law Level 6-):

  • Silvie B65669, Club
  • Kerem 6B5576, Pistol
  • Elias A93328, Pistol

Silvie cracks their knucles, looks at Osman, and starts walking towards him.

Alright, alright…” Osman, in an old Navy mechanics outfit, stands up from the crate he was trying to hide behind. No, need for any trouble. I’m looking to buy some liquor and I hear you are the folks to talk to.”

Who sent you?” asks Silvie.

My buyer wishes to remain anonymous. We were told you can hook us up with the good stuff, from the Carderas distilleries.”

Feels like trying to make a connection with Streetwise, which Osman does not have. Based on the skill guidance in Book 01, I’ll call it a throw of 5+ on 2d6 with the -5 DM for no expertise”.

2d6-5: [2, 6]-5 = 3 Nope.

Your buyer don’t know jack buddy.”

Will the Traders let Osman walk away or does he know to much”> 2d6: [5, 4] = 9 Yes

Now, get out of here before I rearrange your face.” says Silvie who punches a fist into his open hand. Osman assumes the hand represents his face.

Late Morning on Allenby B557455-B, 012-3466

Walking away from the loading docks, Osman takes a look around for the administration offices.

Hi, sorry to bother you, I’m looking to review the transaction logs from six days ago. We believe some Navy gear may have been illegal sold that day.”

Admin’s reaction 2d6: [2, 6] = 8 Interested

Really? You are the second party to ask about the logs for that day. You working with the police?”

This is a private Navy investigation, sir.” says Osman who stands up a little taller.

Throw Admin 8+ to get access to the records: 2d6+1: [4, 2]+1 = 7 Nope.

You know I’d really like to help you but your superior will need to file the proper paperwork to review the logs.”

Osman ponders this and pulls out his hand computer, he punches in a few numbers and slides the screen over to the admin. Bank transfer, Cr600” the screen says.

Admin reaction to being bribed, 2d6: [6, 3] = 9 Intrigued
Throw Bribery 8+: 2d6-5+2: [6, 6]-5+2 = 9 (Doubles!) -Cr600

The admin takes the hand computer and keys in their personal number. Now that you mention it, I forgot I already processed paperwork this morning. Let me pull up what you are looking for. Six days ago, sales logs you said?”

Transaction logs, ship registries, inspections, the works.” He waits for the admin to transfer the files to his hand computer. Osman thanks the admin, walks away, and begins to page through the transactions for that day.

Was their only one sale of liquor that day? (unlikely) 2d6-1: [3, 5]-1 = 7 Yes, but.

Hrm, perhaps the name here is an alias? stolen? forged? Obviously meta-knowledge and solo play aren’t great friends but we will just make do.

1001 Characters, Merchants - 1d136: [16] Prasad Johar 978644, Age 36

Prasad Johar, 15 tons of liquor

Osman taps over to see who Prasad sold to that day.

Was is the traders from before? (likely) 2d6+1: [5, 4]+1 = 10 Yes

Silvie, of course.” Osman considers what to do next. The liquor is probably on the black market already but has Prasad left town?

Does Prasad have a ship register to them? 2d6: [4, 6] = 10 Yes.
Random ship name: Plucky Possum

Osman taps back to Prasad’s name and drills down to see a ship registry entry, Plucky Possum.

Has it left town? 2d6+2: [5, 4]+2 = 11 Yes
Destination. 2 space routes: 1) Birdwood 2) Pershing. 1d2: [2] Pershing.

_Plucky Possum_, departed 011-3466, destination Pershing.

Osman sighs. Lacking a ship he’d have no way to track down this lead. He could try to call in favor to have the ship held up at Pershing but by the time the message made it to Pershing, Prasad could be long gone. That’s assuming Prasad even went to Pershing, Osman is well aware that not every merchant ship keeps to their flight plan.

Osman tries his luck with Silvie’s ship one last time…

Has their ship left? 2d6+1: [5, 5]+1 = 11 Yes

… only to find they’ve left their berth. Osman, Cr600 poorer, heads off to lose more money at the TAS lounge.

Noon on Allenby B557455-B, 012-3466, New Gaepri TAS Lounge

1d6 5+ to hear a rumor: 1d6: [6] Yes.
Traveller Bok Rumor Matrix & List: 2d6: [2, 1] G: Location Data
Mythic character descriptors, physical: Drab, Stocky

Liquor? Yeah, sure I heard something about that.” says a muscular man in plain clothes.

Reaction Throw, how interested are they in giving it up? 2d6: [1, 2] = 3 Hostile.

It’ll cost you though, nothing is free on Allenby kid.”

Osman slides over his hand computer, ready to process a Cr300 transfer.

Throw 8+ to have the man take the bribe: 2d6: [3, 6] = 9


Location: (Augmented Reality Cyberpunk City Kit)

  • Random Building: Bar (1 story)
  • Random Features:
    • Unusually Busy
    • Front For Criminal Activity

A local restauranteur, Pagani Martin, just opened a new bar called the Blue Parrot in Old Gaepri. Pagani is as dirty as they come, I’m sure he’s involved with the liquor smuggling.”

Osman thanks the man and catches a air taxi back to Old Gaepri.

Evening on Allenby B557455-B, 012-3466

Osman walks up to the Blue Parrot and immediately notices the line to get in.

Are any of the bouncers ex-Navy, unlikely. 2d6-1: [5, 2]-1 = 6 No, but
Reaction: 2d6: [2, 6] = 8 Interested.
Mythic character descriptors, physical: Fancy, Rough

Melek!” Osman vigorously shakes hands with an old acquaintance from Pershing. What are you doing here?”

Keeping riff-raff like you out, ha!” says a grizzled looking face who is sharply dressed.

Osman frowns. Seriously, I heard you went into the Army?”

Mustered out, friend. You know they don’t keep the Army over-enlisted. All the money goes to the Navy.”

Any chance I’m on the list for tonight?” Osman says with a forced wink.

Reaction Throw: 2d6: [5, 4] = 9 Intrigued.

Yeah, why not! Go spend all your Navy money at the bar so they can line my pockets” Melek says with a hearty laugh.

Inside, purple and gold light flood over the entry way. The bar is packed and smokey. At each of the small round tables, groups are crowded around ornate fountain-like instruments. Osman watches someone pick up a tube connected to the fountains, put to their mouth, and exhale out a puff of smoke. The maître d’ interrupts Osman’s gaze and shows him to the bar.

What’ll you have?” asks a tender faced bartender.

Surprise me. I want something no one has ever had before.”

2d6: [3, 1] = 4 Hostile. Attacks on 8+.
2d6: [5, 2] = 7 Attacks (Calls cops?). No.

You a cop? Geez, just order something normal like everyone else.”

Sure, Cognac. Neat.” Osman sighs. A moment later a small glass of golden brown liquor arrives. Osman take his glass and walks around, looking for any doors that might lead to the less public parts of the establishment.

Throw 9- (INT), 2d6: [1, 4] = 5.

A change in the lighting catches Osman eye as he sees a single door in a double-door set open inwards. Walking a little closer, but keeping his distance, Osman observes a crowded scene in a red room. Lots of sharply dressed people huddled over various tables. Gambling, Osman guesses. On the opposite end of the room a door swings open and food is brought out. The kitchen.

Osman pulls out his hand computer and walks confidently towards the kitchen door. He burst in and tries to identify the head chef.

Throw 9- (INT), 2d6: [2, 6] = 8

He looks between two folks and picks one I’m working up marketing material for our new menu and the boss wants me to work in some notes from the kitchen on how you are pairing foods with our new liquor options.”

Reaction: 2d6: [4, 4] = 8 Interested

Really? You hear that Ilya?” the man slaps the other on the shoulder. The boss has finally taken an interest in the menu.”

Does the cook staff know about the new liquor 2d6: [1, 5] = 6 No, but

He continues You probably know about whats coming in here than I do. Drea did give me a little sip of something new’ she said earlier today. Had hints of freckled pears. That’s why I added a special of feta cheese wrapped with phyllo, honey and sesame seeds.”

Osman pretends to write this all down. Thanks, this is great. I’ll send out a blast about it. Just going to go check out the new stuff and make some notes.”

Osman wonders off through the kitchen towards the stock area.

Is the liquor there? 2d6+1: [2, 4]+1 = 7 Yes, but
what’s the but? descriptor+focus: Stolen Salvage
… is it damaged? Maybe Pagani’s crew stole it from Silvie’s.

Osman eventually finds a set of crates with the Carderas corporate markings. The crates are damaged though and some are filled with mostly broken bottles. Osman grabs a bottle as proof and tucks into his jacket’s inner pocket.

Does Osman encounter anyone on his way out? 2d6: [5, 4] = 9 Yes 2d6: [4, 1] = 5 Hostile. May attack. Mythic character descriptors, physical: Stocky, Scented

Who are you?” a tough and well cologned-man asks.

Publicist, I’m new. Helping to promote the club.” Osman fibs.

Outright telling a lie. Charisma check in some system. Throw under SOC? What skill might apply here? It is not quite any of the social skills like Admin, Bribery, Gambling, or Streetwise. One of the failings of early Traveller, and Marc Miller recently acknowledged this in an interview, is that it does not have solid conflict rules. Throw under SOC it is I guess.
Throw SOC (8-) 2d6: [5, 2] = 7

The man nods and wonders off as Osman quickly makes haste in the opposite direction. Osman decides it is best to call it a night. Maybe the retrieved bottle can earn Osman a new patron tomorrow.

GM Notes

A bit of a disjointed game as I started it a while ago and dropped it after I became sick. Picking up the pieces and trying to move the game forward again.

Travelling the Lanes, Log 04

Travelling the Lanes with Osman Celik, Log 04

A lack of events eventually leads to an interesting connecting-the-dots experience for Osman.

Allenby B557455-B, 004-3466

Daily rolls:

  • Daily Legal Encounter (5-), 2d6: [3, 6] = 9. None.
  • Daily Weather Encounter (5+), 1d6: [3]. None.
  • Daily Person Encounter (5+) 1d6: 2 None.

So, they wanted the briefcase with the actual sample but Osman effectively got them similar information another way. Are they satisfied? seems like a reaction throw. Gonna toss in a +1 DM for Osman’s attempt what he found them wasn’t useless by any means.

2d6+1: [5, 4]+1 = 10. Responsive.

So you got creative, Mr. Celik. Well done.” says Devika as she pages through Osman’s files on her computer. Yes, I think everything is in order here. I’ll instruct our patron to transfer the funds to your account.”

-Cr20 meals
Osman +Cr10000 (5095->15095)

Allenby B557455-B, 005-3466

Daily rolls:

  • Daily Legal Encounter (5-), 2d6: [2, 6] = 8. None.
  • Daily Weather Encounter (5+), 1d6: [4]. None.
  • Daily Person Encounter (5+) 1d6: 1 None.

-Cr50 meals, museum ticket

Osman spends the day at the Old Gaepri art museum.

Allenby B557455-B, 006-3466

Daily rolls:

  • Daily Legal Encounter (5-), 2d6: [2, 6] = 7. None.
  • Daily Weather Encounter (5+), 1d6: [6]. Yes.
    • 2d6-2: [3, 4]-2 = 5 Major
  • Daily Person Encounter (5+) 1d6: [3] None.

Kina figured one of these legal rolls would pop it would be the hotel connecting Osman to the beatings of two employees but perhaps Dame Havva’s connections have hushed up any investigation. I imagine this planet is rather corrupt.

-Cr120, taxis, food.

Osman, curious, heads down to the starport to do a little commodities trading. There’s a strong storm blowing through the settlements of Old & New Gaepri today. The taxis are busy and it takes Osman a while to find one. He tips the overworked drivers well.

First of all, Osman doesn’t have the capital to do this type of investment but I wanted to remember how this worked in the original rules.

The 1977 rules appear to assume a player-run starship for trading, though there are references to chartering ships for travel. Other Traveller games I’ve read/played assume the PCs might buy & sell cargo but without their own ship. Zozer’s SOLO goes into some detail about this so I will sprinkle in a few details from those rules if necessary.

The Broker section in the 1977 rules is oddly written. It says there are four types of brokers but then does not clearly explain what this means. The Traveller Book clears this up by having a table of DM +1 through DM +4 Brokers (and their fees); It is not that there are 4 types” but that there is one type of Broker and there are 4 different levels of expertise. Perhaps this was clear to others but I thought the presentation was clumsy. Types could’ve referred different classes of cargo or different types of brokers that handle different segments of the transaction. As usual I’ve overthought things.

  • What? (1d610)-10 + 1d6: (210)-10+[3] = 13 Liquor
  • How many? 1d65: [3]5 = 15 Tons
  • How much? (Admin-1) 2d6-1: [2, 6]-1 = 7 100%
  • Cr10000 per ton. 150,000 for the lot. Can be purchased in partial lots but with a 1% additional processing fee

Osman finds a seller who strikes up a conversation, eager to move some crates of liquor. He does some quick math in his head and realizes he doesn’t have the means to pull this deal off. He heads back home somewhat discouraged but with a better understanding of the economics of speculative trading.

Allenby B557455-B, 007-3466

Daily rolls:

  • Daily Legal Encounter (5-), 2d6: [5, 5] = 10. None.
  • Daily Weather Encounter (5+), 1d6: [5]. Yes.
    • 2d6-2: [3, 5]-2 = 6 Moderate
  • Daily Person Encounter (5+) 1d6: 1 None.

-Cr60, food.

Light rain keeps Osman close to home today, he decides to do some shopping to avoid having to eat out so much.

Allenby B557455-B, 008-3466

Daily rolls:

  • Weekly patron roll (5+), 1d6: [4]. None.
  • Daily Legal Encounter (5-), 2d6: [1, 6] = 7. None.
  • Daily Weather Encounter (5+), 1d6: 2. None.
  • Daily Person Encounter (5+) 1d6: [3] None.

Osman calls Devika on the secure phone.

The client was very happy with your work, Mr. Celik. We will keep a low profile for a few days but I’ll be in touch again soon.”

Allenby B557455-B, 009-3466

Daily rolls:

  • Daily Legal Encounter (5-), 2d6: [5, 5] = 10. None.
  • Daily Weather Encounter (5+), 1d6: [3]. None.
    • 2d6-2: [3, 5]-2 = 6 Moderate
  • Daily Person Encounter (5+) 1d6: [4] None.

Not a ton happening, I think we’ll turn to the Travelling Alone sequence and see what happens.

    1. Upkeep: Nothing relevant. Next (4)
    1. Sell Equipment/Misc. Next (5)
    • Throw 9+ to find buyer for Low Passage - 2d6: [5, 5] = 10
      • +Cr900
    1. Event: (1d610) + 1d6: ([5]10)+[6] = 56. Gear/Ship issue.
    • -Cr40 Boots.
    1. Options. Self-improvement progress towards Electronics-0.
    1. Buy/Sell Equipment. None needed.
    1. End

For a moment Osman thinks a pair of local cops are tailing him but they turn and wonder off in another direction. Osman heads over to the Old Gaepri market where he finds someone interested in buying a spare Low Passage ticket he earned in the Navy. He finds a desperate buyer and sells it for Cr900.

The last two rain storms have taken a toll on Osman’s footwear so he buys a new pair of boots at an outdoor recreational store.

From there he heads to the local library. His encounter with the electronic lock has stuck with him and he realizes he needs to start learning more about electronics.

Traveller has these self-improvement rules based around picking up Level-2 in a skill after 4 years of study. That still feels pretty spot on to me. There’s very little guidance for okay, but what about level-0?” I can tell you my at-the-time eleven year old wanted to learn basic electronics and programming. They bought maybe $60 USD of kit, read a guide, and watched some YouTube videos. In about 30 days they had taught themselves wiring, circuits, reading sensor data, controllers, motors, etc. Hard for someone in the late 1970s to anticipate how quickly one could bring themselves up to level-0 in many skill areas with the Internet.

Allenby B557455-B, 010-3466

Daily rolls:

  • Daily Legal Encounter (5-), 2d6: [6, 1] = 7. None.

  • Daily Weather Encounter (5+), 1d6: [4]. None.

  • Daily Person Encounter (5+) 1d6: [6]. Yes.

    • (1d610) + 1d6: ([5]10)+2 = 52, 7 Traders with a Vehicle.
    • Reaction 2d6: [6, 1] = 7 Non-committal.
  • Self-improvement progress towards Electronics-0.

  • Cr100 Taxis, drinks

After a morning session of library studying, Osman heads to the TAS lounge. He strikes up a conversation with a group of traders who need to move cargo from the starport to Old Gaepri. They trade pleasantries with Osman but they aren’t looking for help and don’t offer any actionable leads. In fact whatever they are doing on Allenby they seem to be keeping to themselves about. Osman makes a mental note.

Allenby B557455-B, 011-3466

Daily rolls:

  • Daily Legal Encounter (5-), 2d6: [1, 5] = 6. None.
  • Daily Weather Encounter (5+), 1d6: [4]. None.
  • Daily Person Encounter (5+) 1d6: [6]. Yes.
    • (1d610) + 1d6: ([5]10)+[5] = 55, Noble with retinue (6)
    • Noble’s title 1d6+10: [5] 1) duke, 2) duchess 1d2: 2 duchess
    • From Allenby (yes) or elsewhere (no)? 2d6: [5, 4] = 9 Yes.
    • 2d6: [4, 2] = 6 Unreceptive.

Osman decides to try out a cantina near the art district. The Duchess Valencia Carderas is there with group and Osman tries to integrate himself into their conversations but they ignore him.

Osman wonders if the Carderas family are involved in whatever the traders were delivering to Old Gaepri yesterday.

We’ll give Osman a shot on a 5+ to pick up a rumor, 1d6: [5] Yes!

What industry are they in? I’ll use my custom corporation generator I wrote once upon a time… I think it includes some random table concepts from a Stars Without Number supplement… Suns of Gold?

  • Carderas Assets
  • Industry: Liquor
  • Reputation & Rumors: Lost money to an smuggler who evaded arrest

Listening in on their conversations he picks up on few details. They are in town delivering shipments of a brand new liquor to local restaurants. They seem to have lost a shipment of these liquors. Osman thinks back to the trader he ran into earlier in the week and then the tight lipped traders. He decides tomorrow he’ll head back to the starport and ask a few questions. Tracking down the smuggler could make a friend of the Duchess and Osman could clearly use a few more friends.

Random rolls for the win!

GM Notes

The downside of random events is nothing prompts your brain to act and so your character(s) have to be proactive. Possibly I should’ve thrown Osman to the wolves and let something happen sooner but I’m happy with how this ended up.

I may need to follow Andy Slack’s lead and roll-up events across the week and then weave them back into a story. I believe that’s how he handle time and events during his solitaire Traveller game.

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