Running Drinax, any suggestions?

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JRoss
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Running Drinax, any suggestions?

Postby JRoss » Sat Dec 24, 2016 5:59 pm

Hi,

I just started running Drinax for my wife and our friend. We had an initial session with character creation (though since then I rolled up an extra for each of them), and they heard a rumor about Marduk holding a derelict superfreighter. We're going to run Adventure 1 today. I'm thinking that we'll be at it for a couple three hours so we can probably do both Clarke and Torpol, then maybe enough time for them to jump to Marduk before finding Krrrsh at the space station on Borite.

I'm thinking of maybe changing it so that the space station encounter with Krrrsh and the Chamax Hunter happen on the superfreighter hulk in Marduk. Functionally it'll be the same thing, but it lets them explore without feeling like a side distraction. I mean, they're hunting pirates with a fair amount of urgency. An abandoned superfreighter might be too much of a temptation for them, so I'll just combine the two. The still need to get to Borite to make it to the hidden fuel dump and then to Theev, so that way they can still do a Borite side quest while they refuel.

There seems to be a fair amount of bookkeeping, most of which is on my end and seems to be able to happen between sessions. Any ideas on running the paperwork? Any thoughts in general? Thanks.
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allanimal
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Re: Running Drinax, any suggestions?

Postby allanimal » Sat Dec 24, 2016 7:35 pm

I've been Refereeing Drinax for my group off and on, in real time so far it has probably been about 1 year, meeting 1/week for about 3-4 hours.
We're approx. 1/2 way finished with it ... (hard to say exactly, since we're not doing the chapters in order and there's plenty of stuff in between) So if you plan to get thru Chapter 1 Clarke, Torpal and the space station battle in one session... well, your pacing is much different than mine, I guess.

My personal suggestion is to give the players enough rope to hang themselves. This is a vast & complex adventure, and they have lots of opportunities outside of the stuff directly involved with the events in each chapter to influence the situation in the region, both for better and for worse.

My suggestion with the paperwork - don't be too strict about it. Keep track of their transgressions, especially the big stuff. If the players are on a roll, I don't usually derail the action with the law coming down on them. But if things are in a slow period, that's the perfect time for them to have to deal with the consequences of their actions.

That said, there are a couple places where they have to make hard decisions. Basically, they can't always do everything and have to make choices. Sometimes their choices have consequences that impact the story ... Let it happen.

Also - take good notes. Sometimes things will happen on Drinax or Theev or somewhere, and when they come back later, the people there will remember. It may only be a month or two in game time, but in real time it was 6 months and you forget....
AndrewW
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Re: Running Drinax, any suggestions?

Postby AndrewW » Sat Dec 24, 2016 7:55 pm

Don't get too focused on completing things in a particular time frame. Just let it run and have fun with it. if you don't get something completed, no worries as long as everything has fun with it just come back to it the next session.

Might try keeping a list of things that happen by world and dates, so when they revisit a given world you know what they did there before and when. May effect things. Just stick them in a text file, open document format, on note cards or whatever works for you.
JRoss
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Re: Running Drinax, any suggestions?

Postby JRoss » Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:39 pm

Thanks for the advice. I was thinking that since there's very little action in Clarke and Torpol that we could maybedo those in a session. The Torpol side quest is something that they just pick up and take home with them to talk to Prince Herrick.
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Re: Running Drinax, any suggestions?

Postby PsiTraveller » Sat Dec 24, 2016 10:17 pm

I am guessing you have read through the entire module, so start making a point of finding out if your players are "Gardener of worlds" types or more hawkish pirates. This will become more important in later modules and can really shift things.

My players are more trade oriented and deals and diplomacy, so their piracy is minimal, but they arrange deals to make the King a lot of money. Political ties are gained and alliances brokered and negotiated. This will come in handy when it gets to picking sides.

Also look ahead for the Treasure of Sindal and be prepared to ask the group what they will do with the Weapons of Mass Destruction. These can kill planets and billions of beings.

Those are the biggest turning points that have popped up in my game.
edit: Add to the list what technology and knowledge the party can gain from the Scholar's tower and Tech World. This is TL 14 level stuff they might have access to. The Baron is over 100 years old. TL 14 allows synthetic anagathics. Does he have a supply from the Tower? Can the party get some? What about missile technology for TL 14 advanced missiles. Can Tech world manufacture them with their robotic shipyards? This gives a positive bonus to rolls and can really have an impact on combat.

The Harrier advantage is in its higher TL. The party will realize that an seek to get higher TL gear for themselves. Power armour, laser rifles etc.
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Re: Running Drinax, any suggestions?

Postby JMISBEST » Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:00 pm

Sounds like a very good idea

Maybe do what I plan to do in 2nd edition and in Adventure 5 -The Treasure Of Sindal have A even stronger Chalmax that can read minds and has been modified to only attack those that, at the time The Pcs arrive their, finds out, by reading their minds, that The Pcs are giving serious though to the idea of using The Doomsday Weapons on other worlds
JRoss
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Re: Running Drinax, any suggestions?

Postby JRoss » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:48 pm

Both very good ideas. What is a "gardener of worlds"? Is it someone who sticks around and does every side quest?

I've got the Theev book, is the Torpol Cluster worth it? Since the first adventure sends them there I'd be interested in having more detail at hand.

Also, I showed them a map of the Traveller galaxy. Bad idea. Made them think things were going to be very complicated.
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JRoss
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Re: Running Drinax, any suggestions?

Postby JRoss » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:48 pm

Both very good ideas. What is a "gardener of worlds"? Is it someone who sticks around and does every side quest?

I've got the Theev book, is the Torpol Cluster worth it? Since the first adventure sends them there I'd be interested in having more detail at hand.

Also, I showed them a map of the Traveller galaxy. Bad idea. Made them think things were going to be very complicated.
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PsiTraveller
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Re: Running Drinax, any suggestions?

Postby PsiTraveller » Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:41 am

there are two camps in the Flying City. The Scholars tower backs The Prince and his Gardener of worlds approach. Adventure 9 Page 6 in the Factions sidebar. He wants alliances and trade and technological sharing to develop a coalition of partners.

The King and the Princess want to use piracy and terror to create an atmosphere of fear in the region to wring political advantages from it. Those are the factions at court. The players will have to decide if they are going to shoot everything they see or try and make trade deals to create alliances.

You can get very meta and outside the box playing the campaign. The Scholar's tower and Tech-World are TL 14, which offers tech up to 16 if you use the high tech and primitive and advanced spacecraft options in High Guard and have the money to spend.
Example from my group. Spoiler alert!

My players set up a trade route around Tech World to supply their demands, and took captured ships and armed them to allow them to break free of GeDeCo and meet all the demands from tech world in Aadventure 4 (I did alter the adventure Demon's Eye and dropped the long trip to Mirage. The adventure became a diplomatic and trading mission that tied into the Treasure of Sindal). So a pocket alliance of several planets were created free of GeDeCo and generating trade and income for themselves. This supplies Tech World with raw materials to do more advanced research, and one of the first projects is the weapons found at the Treasure of Sindal.

The 'treasure of the WMD's were then taken to Tech World and instead of being focused on humans were cross bred to be Aslan centered. This was done to remove the -2 to -4 DM for non human targets. Basically they are now Aslan capable WMD's. Even without the modifications by the morally flexible researchers the plague bombs can easily kill billions and upset the political and military balance in the Aslan region. You just have to drop enough of them. The other option players may investigate is to just make more of the bombs.

The 24 advanced torpedos (or missiles if you want the warheads to be missiles) also offer a TL 14 advantage to combat and if more of them are available they can swing combat rolls significantly if using HG2 rules.

Secondly: Options for use of WMD's. The 5000 Ihatei warriors and using pocket nukes to destroy the camp is discussed in Adventure 3 page 3. The King wants plausible deniability for turning the icy camp into a radioactive steam pit. My players did this to destroy the camp. They also planted false information and framed an Aslan noble to tear apart his clan. Anything to create confusion among the Aslan ranks.

And in a grim concept of reducing the enemy and creating a power vacuum do not be surprised if your party start to discuss what might happen if they put all 24 plague bombs onto a planet like Tyohk with its 20 Billion Aslan, just over half the Aslan in the Sector and removing it from the board as a viable planet. Or the 80 Billion Aslan on Irlaiw in the Silraaihe Sector. Something big and nightmarish to create confusion in the ranks of the Aslan.

Your players may get extremely matter of fact about causing genocide, or they may got he exact opposite. You have to be prepared for both options.

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