Adventure Planning

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
mancerbear
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Adventure Planning

Postby mancerbear » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:34 am

So I'm interested in how other Referees plan their games and how far ahead.

My players have just finished The Bronz Case, and I'm sending them off to Mythral to enjoy DA02 Mission on Mythral.

From there I have three options. Send them on Adventure 10 Safari Ship which will lead to them discovering the Screachers (5 years earlier), send them on Tripwire (a year late), or gear them up for the Fifth Frontier War focussing on the Sword Worlds incursions.

What about other Referees?
Last edited by mancerbear on Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
PsiTraveller
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Re: Adventure Planning

Postby PsiTraveller » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:50 pm

I map out events, subject to any changes the players introduce. I am running Drinax and the length of time each adventure takes I am keeping on a calendar, so a couple of years have passed, and I have dropped some adventures in the series completely.

If you have an event you want to include, and they need to be near a sector or planet at a certain time, make sure they do not alter plans too much and derail things for you. Plan out a favour, or Patron demand or a good paying job to bring them to planet X at a certain time. Otherwise they will not be there when you want them to be. :P
mancerbear
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Re: Adventure Planning

Postby mancerbear » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:12 pm

PsiTraveller wrote:
Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:50 pm
If you have an event you want to include, and they need to be near a sector or planet at a certain time, make sure they do not alter plans too much and derail things for you. Plan out a favour, or Patron demand or a good paying job to bring them to planet X at a certain time. Otherwise they will not be there when you want them to be. :P
Yes, that's exactly what I do too. I'm also not afraid to change locations of published adventures to place them in the Traveller's path. :)
PsiTraveller
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Re: Adventure Planning

Postby PsiTraveller » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:21 pm

One thing I found that works well is to have a piece of gear, or a hospital that can perform an operation (tech level based for example) at or near where I need the group to be. If a player wants an augment there could be a specialist who works at the Starport hospital at planet X who is known for doing very good work. I got one player to vote to go to a planet because he wanted an implant.

At the same time I had the Broker in the group find out and make a roll that Planet X would be an interesting spot to manipulate the market for product Y (that he had a bunch of). So he voted to go to the planet as well and the rest of the group went along to help their friends out. Well, that and they wanted a cut of the money from the brokerage deal).

So layer the options for a group and have fallback plans as well. Or just use the "You feel compelled to take this job because I want to run the adventure set on planet X." It is good for a laugh and you get the same result in the end.
Jak Nazryth
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Re: Adventure Planning

Postby Jak Nazryth » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:26 pm

I run my games as "Sandbox with a plot"
IMTU (and any other game I run) there are 2 or 3 major events going on the background, some are obvious, others are non-so obvious and at least one is an absolute secret /mystery.
I have anywhere from 3-6 plot hooks, unless I'm "forcing" an adventure on the players, which is very rare. For Each plot hook, I will have just enough developed to give the basic ideas and information, and thumbnail sketches and notes (for myself).
The players pick the adventure they want, be it investigating a distress beacon, take a panic stricken loved one to a distant research station because their family member is way overdue and the company in charge isn't saying anything!, or use any of the 10,000 or so plots that's been written for Traveller since 1977, or anything else.
I also use the random patron generator for filler and interesting side missions.
Somewhere buried in the variety of plot cooks are elements of the of the major plots going on the background.
But the players 90% of the time have complete freedom of what they do.
I always have enough each plot hook with encounters/role play opportunities to last at least one game session.
Once I know which direction the players are going, I'll finish out the rest of the adventure material like NPC stats, dangers in that long abandoned mine, any other rivals that might be after the same thing, and any rewards/loot that they might recover. Of course, it they chose a pre-gen adventure it's much easier, but it will give me time to place my own spin on it.
I too will transplant previously written adventures and plots to where they need to be, like High and Dry for instance.

As far as the major plot hooks, I have a general idea of how things will turn out if the characters don't involve themselves, so the players never be the wiser.

Also, during down time, in between adventures, or on starports, I always have an "In the news" section. A lot of it is local fluff, news, etc... but sprinkled in the news of the day are more plots and ideas, including hints that link to major plots... somethings that the players can investigate if they so chose.

Anyway, that's how I GM my games.
steve98052
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Re: Adventure Planning

Postby steve98052 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:05 am

Another nudge to throw players in a plot direction is a convenient misjump. Tell a little story that unfolds around the misjump, so it seems like the misjump itself is the plot.

"Moments after you push the 'Jump!' button, your engineering apprentice hears a pop, then the hiss of gas that doesn't sound normal. The engineering computer says, 'Imminent fire hazard! Imminent fire hazard!' The automatic fire suppression valves open and everyone in engineering smells the warning scent in the fire suppression gas and starts to feel funny. Roll Endurance."

Everyone makes the Easy roll.

"Everyone gets their respirator masks on in time. Apprentice, you see a cold mist around a cryo pipe. The indicator is unreadable, covered in frost. What do you do?"

Pretty much any answer is OK, except, "Warm up the indicator with a blowtorch." In that case the apprentice gets burned to a crisp.

"It looks like a leak in that cryo pipe. There's an emergency shutoff valve with lots of warnings next to it, partially covered in frost."

Apprentice presumably shuts off the valve.

"The ventilation kicks into high power to clear the explosive hydrogen gas from the jump drive room. The computer soon stops saying, 'Imminent fire hazard!' It might be safe to remove your respirators."

Engineers:
"I think I'll leave mine on for now."
"Me too."

"It's obvious that a cryo pipe leaked. Liquid hydrogen, 20 Kelvin, freezes anything it touches, and evaporates and explodes with the slightest spark. It looks like an O-ring blew out. You probably have spares."

Apprentice:
"Is the cryo pipe important?"

"It looks like it's the number 19 jump bubble feed line. All 20 are supposed to work to form a balanced jump bubble. But the ship made it into jump space, and it's only critical while the ship is entering jump. But best to fix it promptly to keep the jump bubble stable."

Chief engineer:
"I think I'll fix this myself."

Easy roll to find spare parts succeeds. Easy roll for repairs succeeds.

"It looks like you can get a warranty claim on the bad O-ring. And maybe a refund on installation."

A week of minor adventurers passes, trying to keep the high passengers from fighting over some obscure religious squabble.

Seven and a half days into jump, a passenger asks, "How long are we supposed to be in jump?"

"Approximately a week, but it varies by several hours."

Steward, day eight:
"Captain, what's going on? We're almost out of caviar and the high passengers are starting to freak out. Actually, I'm about to freak out too."

Captain:
"Full crew meeting in an hour, or right away if you can trust those two guys not to start fighting again."

Astrogator:
"Chief Engineer and I have been puzzling over the situation and we're worried . . ."

"Very early on day nine the ship drops out of jump. Astrogator rolls out of bed to check sensors. Good news, bad news, and weird news."

"What?"

"The good news is that you're back in normal space, and not in deep space. The bad news is that you're in the wrong system, far from anything that looks like a main world. The weird news is that the sensors don't say where you actually are."

A few skill rolls pass.

"After a couple of hours, Astrogator makes sense of the sensor computer problem. Not only are you 22 parsecs from where you're supposed to be, it looks like during your nine days in jump space, about 54 days passed in normal space."

Accountant:
"Uh-oh. The bank's not going to be pleased."

Steward:
"And those religious freaks missed their festival thing."

Captain:
"Twenty-two parsecs? So where are we?"
bluekieran
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Re: Adventure Planning

Postby bluekieran » Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:26 pm

steve98052 wrote:
Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:05 am
Another nudge to throw players in a plot direction is a convenient misjump. Tell a little story that unfolds around the misjump, so it seems like the misjump itself is the plot.
[...]
That's a great little subplot!

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