Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

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Kulthea
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Kulthea » Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:47 am

Old School wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:19 pm
Good stuff. I’m thinking Harrick might have a change of heart under the circumstances, as will many of the systems that pledged their allegiance to Drinax.
I wonder if anyone put him up to the move to Clarke. Wouldn't that be a coincidence. There's also the 'legitimate' heir to the Sindalian Empire living in his hut on Noricum. Nobody has checked in with him recently.
Old School wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:19 pm
My players want to rebuild the kingdom, but with a different capital. That will be interesting if and when the time comes.
Where are they thinking of?
Old School wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:19 pm
One thing i haven’t given much thought to: Is GeDeCo right? In other words, with the Aslan doing as expected and destroying the nascent empire, will the people of the Imperium be motivated to militarize the Border and protect the borderlands and tlaiowaha independent worlds?
I'm not sure that the Imperium are really expected to be involved in the plans. GeDeCo wanted a new empire/kingdom to arm and protect themselves, and therefore protect the Imperium borders. As the book puts it the new entity would act as 'caltrops' in the path of any Aslan moving towards the Imperium. It's certainly possible that GeDeCo underestimated the travellers. Who would have thought that 31 systems would join up the first time around? Perhaps they hoped for a smaller group to start with the idea of persuading all the others to join up on the basis that 'a few more systems would be able to hold'. Alternatively perhaps those worlds, so full of expectation, will strengthen the idea of an empire, if only someone would step forward and take charge.

In any event the PCs could now withdraw from the political side of things if they wanted to, or could put themselves firmly in the middle as potential rulers, or might want to try to persuade Harrick to step into the gap. The message from Professor Jaskarl, the psychohistorian, was that the GeDeCo would "will protect you or a small few individuals of your choice," It's also true that the PCs have blemished their copybook somewhat with their acts now broadcast by the Aslan for all to see. I'm going to drop their standing with some systems. And as mentioned previously there's the matter of their titles and social standing to work through.
Old School
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:30 pm

The Jaskarl plan tells us that the destruction of Drinax will be a lightning rod for the rest of the Reach to get their act together to prepare for an Aslan invasion. I think that means in the Imperium part of the reach as well. Regardless, if I'm the ruler of some backwater planet in the Borderlands, for example, I'm not as sure as I was a few weeks ago that partnering with your travellers is the best way to do that. Associating with them might just hasten one's destruction.

The idea to move the capitol isn't well developed, but in general my players don't have a positive view of the residents of the floating palace. So they had discussed leaving most of them there with their meaningless titles and setting up shop somewhere else with whatever few nobility they think are worth including in the actual government. That idea has never really been fleshed out, but Asim, Byrni, Torpol, and Inurin were discussed as potential locations. They certainly haven't mentioned this idea to the king or his heirs.
Last edited by Old School on Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
paltrysum
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:48 pm

We're a long way away from "Blood of the Star Dragon," but I want to start laying the seeds now. Our group has become intimately familiar with Oleb, but Harrick and Rao are still mysterious to them. They know that Harrick has an interest in Asim, which coincides with one of the players' altruistic program to help the Vespexers. Rao appears to be devious to them at the moment. We know from the "Starting Policy Ratings" in the penultimate chapter that...
  • Oleb would essentially build an authoritarian dictatorship.
  • Rao, with her secret allies, would create a strong, centralized dictatorship with some outreach.
  • And Harrick, "the gardener of worlds," has a utopian society in mind with a great deal of technology sharing and a modest security plan.
If your players choose any of these, which would it be? Our group is leaning Harrick at the moment, but I plan for Rao to give them some things to think about soon.
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Old School
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:17 pm

I’m guessing, but I think my group is looking at technology transfer as the means to lift up the people, as does Prince Harrick, but they will also want s big kingdom to have more resources to defend against the Aslan. And several of them will be dissapointed with anything less than a Duchy for themselves. So they’d probably lean towards Rao ( I see her a less a dictator than Oleb), but definitely prefer Harrick’s technology plan.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Garran » Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:01 am

There's a point at which the PCs can try to influence the ruler-to-be to change their policy positions, IIRC, and that's worth looking at.

If they work with Rao they could try to persuade her that Harrick's heart is in the right place and the new kingdom needs to be something that inspires its people, not just rules them.

If they work with Harrick they can inject a dose of the reality that they've been dealing with out there. The league is a noble ideal but it also needs to be stronger than he envisages or it won't last.

Oleb could likewise be persuaded that a less centralized approach might be better - it's not like he cares to do all that work anyway!
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:34 am

True. . .if you’re the Archduke of The Borderlands, Oleb is the one that’s going to leave everything up to you. . .

I ran a quick analysis a while back on what policy setup would generate the best average support among the worlds. I don’t remember the exact results, but surprisingly little support for technology sharing. Perhaps because various leaders see technology in the hands of their subjects as a threat to their power.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Garran » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:15 am

Enormous technological changes disrupt the social and economic order of a society. Even if the leadership likes the idea of uplift, there's the reality of massive unrest when everything that people are used to is overturned all at once.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:18 pm

Enjoyed your latest writeup, Kulthea. Question for you: Have you been using the capital ships or Pirates of Drinax fleet rules from "Finale" to conduct large-scale battles?
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https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse.php ... %20Griffen
Kulthea
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Kulthea » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:54 am

paltrysum wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:18 pm
Enjoyed your latest writeup, Kulthea. Question for you: Have you been using the capital ships or Pirates of Drinax fleet rules from "Finale" to conduct large-scale battles?
Thanks.

In the finale I used the battle rules as written in the adventure. That is, discard dice that roll 1, 3 or 5 (some criteria where not all discarded) and only count 6's if that side has a capital ship. The capital ships and some advantage in fighting strength were nearly equaled by the PC actions and the arrival of Lord Wrax (heroic suicide) and the Winged Guard (nuclear mines on a capital ship).

Not looked at any rules in High Guard for fleets. The rules in Finale seemed abstract enough that while there were a few dozen dice being rolled it didn't feel like a 'keep rolling until something gives' type combat. I tried it a few times on my own to get a feel and it only lasted half a dozen rounds (probably not even that). I kept forgetting to apply the random 'you're in a battle so you'll take some damage' hits so every other round was a big hit. Also the fact they were all in a single ship didn't change the fact everyone could have a go at something, so everyone was involved.
Kulthea
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Kulthea » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:58 am

Old School wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:34 am
I ran a quick analysis a while back on what policy setup would generate the best average support among the worlds. I don’t remember the exact results, but surprisingly little support for technology sharing. Perhaps because various leaders see technology in the hands of their subjects as a threat to their power.
I made a spreadsheet for that. The one that gave the most successes was 2, 2, 2. That's also by an actual coincidence what my players persuaded Rao to go with. The spreadsheet allowed me to show the results in real time. All calculations were hidden but the standing was still visible. As I entered the roll they made a column showed success of failure. WE had an election in Australia around the same time and I wanted s similar feel - like results coming in slowly as they were counted.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Kulthea » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:05 pm

Old School wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:30 pm
The Jaskarl plan tells us that the destruction of Drinax will be a lightning rod for the rest of the Reach to get their act together to prepare for an Aslan invasion. I think that means in the Imperium part of the reach as well. Regardless, if I'm the ruler of some backwater planet in the Borderlands, for example, I'm not as sure as I was a few weeks ago that partnering with your travellers is the best way to do that. Associating with them might just hasten one's destruction.
I stand corrected. You are right. I somehow interpreted it as only being the non-Imperium worlds and that seems to work as well. Perhaps the next stage of the GeDeCo plan will include the Imperium.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:42 pm

Its hard to explain a way that the non-Imperium worlds could stand on their own. Vorito and Browne are the only ones with significant populations, and I don’t think the Aslan issue is something the leaders of Browne worry about.

The population issue is one thing about traveller that really bothers me. These mid tech garden worlds should have experienced rapid population growth, but it doesn’t happen.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby bklokis » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:23 pm

As part of my Referee-OCD I've been working on a Systems Data & Missions workbook to keep all the main missions and possible side-missions straight, along with system descriptions, notable NPCs from that system, and plot points as my PCs visit those systems.

While copying in the side-mission text from PoD book 1, I was curious if anyone has run the Iroioah side-mission yet in their campaign?

It sounds like a pretty cool sci-fi dungeon crawl, however, one that is forced on the PCs, and one which doesn't have a straight forward positive reward. Additionally, two of my PCs are Aslan, so that adds another nice bit of complexity since they wouldn't be affected by the Nameless Keeper.

I was just curious if anyone has run it yet, and how it worked out for the players.

Thanks!
"Every RPG character worth his salt has daddy issues" - Ambrosius Quayle
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:18 pm

I have not. Its a really good adventure seed, but like most it would require a lot of prep. I tend to shy away from psionic related plots.
Kulthea
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Kulthea » Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:31 pm

It's nice when old friends drop in.

http://piratesofdrinax.blogspot.com/

<evil grin>
Kulthea
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Kulthea » Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:35 pm

bklokis wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:23 pm
I was just curious if anyone has run it yet, and how it worked out for the players.
Nope. Nice hook but lots of work to set up, and as with Old School I've been avoiding just about anything psionic (one dabble with an imperial character notwithstanding).

It is the sort of thing that can be transplanted to another world though so it might pop up one day when I'm in the right mood.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:55 pm

Kulthea wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:31 pm
It's nice when old friends drop in.

http://piratesofdrinax.blogspot.com/

<evil grin>
Well that escalated quickly. Did you actually play out the combat with hundreds of missiles?

One quibble - Is the focus on jump capability just for mobility or to hide the station? Because the station can hide without jumping.

Even 0.1g acceleration, given two weeks to accelerate and another two weeks to decelerate, would move the station over a billion km. Only those who know its course would be able to find it.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:33 pm

Speaking of undeveloped Patrons and Opportunities, has anyone developed the Pourne one:

"A jump-capable scout ship of possibly nonhuman design arrived in the Pourne system some months ago. The only crew member was dead, and the remains were sufficiently degraded by radiation exposure that it was impossible to determine species. The Pourne bureaucracy fears this was an advance scout for an alien invasion force. The mission is to locate the origin world of the scout ship and determine if it is a threat."

Seems like a great opportunity to connect with Pourne, which should make for kind of a valuable ally for Drinax, what with its relatively high population and A-class starport. I was thinking of making the ship a long-lost Darrian scout that became infected with the same species described in Great Rift Adventure 2: Deepnight Endeavor. It'd be a nice change of pace and would introduce some cool, classic sci-fi elements, much like the Iroioah seed.
My published Traveller adventures on DriveThruRPG:
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse.php ... %20Griffen
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:48 pm

Kulthea wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:31 pm
It's nice when old friends drop in.

http://piratesofdrinax.blogspot.com/

<evil grin>
Wow! The death of a very key NPC. Must have been a huge moment in your campaign. Nice writeup, Kulthea.
My published Traveller adventures on DriveThruRPG:
https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse.php ... %20Griffen
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:40 pm

I used the Pourne one, but I won’t claim that I “developed” it at all. We just did it on the fly the first time they called on Pourne. I think they sent some evidence to a contact in the Imperial Navy and confirmed that the ship was most likely Zhodani. A little foreshadowing that I’m sure my players have since forgotten about completely. Same thing with Falcon. They didn’t catch Zuekhvi; they just used the wonderful sensors of the Harrier to locate the bomb, which they defused and took with them (and later dropped in a volcano on Exocet).

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