Question about Pirates in Traveller

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Kal99
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Question about Pirates in Traveller

Postby Kal99 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:10 am

I'm new to Traveller and plan to run Pirates of Drinax as my first campaign. Reading through everything there's one point I'm still not sure of...how do pirates escape? Most ships, including the Harrier, only carry enough fuel for one jump at max range, and in the best of conditions it takes d6 hours to refuel. Do most pirates (with a j2 drive) just jump one parsec in, attack, jump one parsec out, then head home refueling every 2 parsecs? Or did I miss something in my reading of the rules?
ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Question about Pirates in Traveller

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:42 am

You get only one stab at jumping. And the trip in jumpspace is a week long, no matter the number of parsecs.

The trick is to hide somewhere once you are out of jumpspace. Or to hide somewhere first for awhile before jumping. Hopefully, the space cops don't know what direction you jumped.
SSWarlock
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Re: Question about Pirates in Traveller

Postby SSWarlock » Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:16 am

One possibility is for the pirate ship to use a collapsible fuel bladder in its cargo hold(s). They jump in, transfer the fuel into their tanks, collapse the bladders, then go hunting with full tanks and a virtually empty cargo hold for loot.

Or so I've heard rumors to this effect. Never tried anything like this myself, you understand.
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tytalan
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Re: Question about Pirates in Traveller

Postby tytalan » Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:37 am

You jump in use some ice body or far gas giant to refuel with being seen than you wait for your prey with full tanks you hit your target before it jumps or better yet when it first come into the system than you leave before anyone can get close enough to read your jump. It helps to have the right sort of contact in the system and or other way to know when a good target is coming.

Randomly hunting from prey usually get little or nothing to make money you really need the right contacts.
alkibiades
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Re: Question about Pirates in Traveller

Postby alkibiades » Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:16 am

The fuel tanks entry for the Harrier ist as follows:
J-2, 4 weeks of operation
Doesn't it mean, that you can do four J-2 jumps on a row with full tanks, so having a reach of overall 8 Parsecs or am I misreading anything?
Jeraa
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Re: Question about Pirates in Traveller

Postby Jeraa » Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:20 am

alkibiades wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:16 am
The fuel tanks entry for the Harrier ist as follows:
J-2, 4 weeks of operation
Doesn't it mean, that you can do four J-2 jumps on a row with full tanks, so having a reach of overall 8 Parsecs or am I misreading anything?
Not having the material to look at, usually the fuel entry contains two separate parts. The first is how much jump fuel is on the ship, and the next is power plant fuel. So the ship in question has enough jump fuel for 1 Jump-2, and enough power plant fuel for 4 weeks of operation. If necessary, you could use the jump fuel to fuel the power plant, but that means you could only do a Jump-1 (or couldn't jump at all, if you used enough of the jump fuel).

Enough fuel for 4 Jump-2s would need 80% of the ship, leaving no real room for anything, if you could even fit all the necessary things in that 20% remaining.
ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Question about Pirates in Traveller

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:02 am

Weeks of operation sometimes refers to the power plant usage. Keeping the lights on, etc.
JMISBEST
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Re: Question about Pirates in Traveller

Postby JMISBEST » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:22 am

I'd suggest converting The Cargo Bay of The Harrier so that if needed it can hold 1 but not both of Super Fuel Containers, as I have renamed them, that in emergencies can be ditched once used and recovered by allies as, officially, legit salvage, or cargo

Sorry about pressing quote and not modify/change post. Can someone correct a honest mistake
alkibiades
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Re: Question about Pirates in Traveller

Postby alkibiades » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:26 am

ShawnDriscoll wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:02 am
Weeks of operation sometimes refers to the power plant usage. Keeping the lights on, etc.
So weeks of operation is the the general amount of time in which the ship is operational. So if there is only fuel for half a week left and I initialize a jump (which would last a whole week), I would be in pretty big trouble.
ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Question about Pirates in Traveller

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:34 am

alkibiades wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:26 am
ShawnDriscoll wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:02 am
Weeks of operation sometimes refers to the power plant usage. Keeping the lights on, etc.
So weeks of operation is the the general amount of time in which the ship is operational. So if there is only fuel for half a week left and I initialize a jump (which would last a whole week), I would be in pretty big trouble.
Yep. That would make for a cool game session for the Travellers to figure a way out of. Often times what will happen is the reverse. They come out of jump, and have far less fuel left for their ship systems than they normal have. Apollo 13 stuff. The explosion on the ship happened at the beginning or at the end of a jump. So less power available. Hoping that help will arrive. And they don't know where they are. No sensor power onboard.
Reynard
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Re: Question about Pirates in Traveller

Postby Reynard » Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:49 am

A smart pirate plans a heist. Simply, they enter a suitable system they have an idea has prey. First and foremost, they refuel whether planetside or the long way via gas giant. If they have the skills, they investigate and look for potential targets preparing to leave port or they lay in wait along known jump entry and exit points. Exit Is better because the prey has no (normally) jump fuel and is low on power plant fuel. You have time on your side and can refuel when the operations tank gets low then wait again. After this you use every trick in the book, and a few your wrote into the book, to get close to the prey so you can pounce. Any thing goes wrong you have fuel for a jump.

Also remember an engine greater than Jump 1 can split the jump fuel for smaller jumps. A jump 3 could make a J1 into a nearby system and have fuel left for either a J2 or a J1 (with enough fuel for another J1). Some ships are notorious for jumping insystem, hitting a target as soon as possible and jumping out. Why they're called Jumpcussers.
paltrysum
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Re: Question about Pirates in Traveller

Postby paltrysum » Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:44 pm

alkibiades wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:26 am
So weeks of operation is the the general amount of time in which the ship is operational. So if there is only fuel for half a week left and I initialize a jump (which would last a whole week), I would be in pretty big trouble.
"Pirates of Drinax" has rules about stealing life support as well. The book that outlines piracy practices lists several things you can steal, one of them being supplies. Presumably you could take all the things that constitute life support from your prey: air, food, etc. This would leave them in trouble, but they can land at the nearest port. Pirates don't always have the luxury of landing at a starport when they a) have just just raided a ship in the system, b) are concerned that they will be a recognized pirate in the system and can't land at the starport for resupply, c) are in a hostile system and can't use the starport to resupply. I'm sure there are myriad scenarios that dictate whether or not pirates can obtain life support through conventional means, but the point is how they obtain it is an issue that conventional traders and other travelling ships do not have to contend with. Pirates have to factor this in all the time or risk suffocating and/or starving in space.
"Spacers lead a sedentary life. They live at home, and their home is always with them—their starship, and so is their country—the depths of space."

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