Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

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JMISBEST
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby JMISBEST » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:07 pm

locarno24 wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:31 pm
Random thought - looking through some old material (Megatraveller) - found some reference to the Empire of Sindal with a pretty good run-down of their entire pre-fall navy.

Obviously it's not correct for contemporary canon, as it doesn't namecheck Harrier-class commerce raiders or the heavier Wyvern-class, but it's an interesting inventory of ships which might be floating around in the Thebus debris field or else in various hands, either derelict or still running, and might be useful assets for someone trying to resurrect the Dragon Throne.

It's listed in the Traveller Wiki

Prior to the collapse the fleet consisted of:

Capital Ships:
1 Liaoning Class Carrier, 65,000 tons, 300 m long, with fifty fighters.
Built for the Sindalian Empire, this was the flagship of the fleet. It carried five squadrons of 20 ton fighters. It carried a heavy meson spinal mount but no armor and limited agility. There were back up screens and a model 7 fib computer. The marine platoons had four air rafts and four attack speeders.

A powerful vessel, the ship mounted:
[Presumably the Meson Spinal - it's not mentioned here, though)
20 heavy missile bays,
200 triple sand caster turrets,
4 fusion gun bays,
4 particle accelerator bays,
4 repulsor bays (whatever they are),
50 triple laser turrets.

The ship is described as TL-13, 4G, J-4, 752 crew with 65 marines

Since this ship was in a class of one ship, it's a fair guess that the ship was called the Liaoning. This was the flagship of the Sindal Star Guard; I'm sure some sort of rumour of its survival has to be a thing, and might make for an interesting adventure. The air/rafts are standard 4-tonners, and the attack speeders apparently 6 tonners.

69 Type 095 Shang Class Missile Cruisers, 13,800 tons, 110 m long
Built for the Sindalian Empire, the Shang Class Missile Cruiser was streamlined with scoops and purification for ocean refueling. It carried a 20 ton gig, light armor and no meson spinal mount but had average agility. There was a back up model 7 fib computer. The marine platoons had four air rafts and four attack speeders.

A powerful vessel, the ship mounted:
10 heavy missile bays,
4 triple sand caster turrets,
1 fusion gun bay,
1 particle accelerator bay,
1 repulsor bay and
4 triple laser turrets.

The ship is described as TL-13, 5G, J-4, 190 crew with 65 marines


This will presumably be what the bulk of the civil war was fought with. A capital ship with massed torpedo tubes is flexible, but also not great if you're at the wrong end of a logistics chain -which makes sense for Sindal's star guard since Jump-4 (which seems to have been the standard 'fleet manouvrability' level for the star guard lets you cover a fair chunk of the reach in one go). I imagine it made supply depots and arsenals a huge thing during the fall. Salvaging one of these is probably massively out of scope of a pirate group but if your PCs were to discover a derelict and figure out how to repair and re-man it Lord Wrax and the Drinaxi Star Guard may spontaneously wet themselves with glee. A detachment of 65 marines, 4 x military air rafts and 4 x attack speeders seems to be a standard force element for the Star Guard 'heavies' so you may see barracks or legacy military units organised in that fashion in militias around the reach.

26 Type 052D Yulang III Class Destroyers, 7,000 tons, 156 m long
Built for the Sindalian Empire, the Yulang III class Destroyer was partially streamlined with scoops and purification for gas giant refueling. Fitted for jump 4 and 6 G's acceleration, it carried 2 air rafts and 2 attack speeders for the marines. It had light armor, no screens and no meson spinal mount. It is somewhat under powered and as a result had average agility. There was a model 7 fib computer.

A well armed vessel, the ship mounted:
3 missile bays,
20 triple sand caster turrets,
10 dual fusion gun turrets, and
10 triple laser turrets.

The ship is described as TL-13, 6G, J-4, 105 crew with 42 marines

A slightly bigger medium capital ship. Interestingly this thing packs missile bays rather than torpedo bays; which will struggle to hurt well armoured opponents but can put out a massively superior rate of fire (36 missiles per volley from a Yulang III compared to 30 torpedoes from a much larger - nearly twice the size - Shang). Might have a significant edge when flinging stuff like multi-warhead missiles against fighter swarms, where absolute rate of fire matters more than individual weapon damage, or for bombardment with ortillery missiles when trying to provide slightly more discriminate fire support or demonstrative strikes without an accompanying mega-death atrocity

49 Type 053H Xiamen Class Frigates, 4,000 tons, 134 m long
Built for the Sindalian Empire, the Xiamen Class Frigate was partially streamlined with scoops and purification for gas giant refueling. Equipped for jump 4 and 5 G's acceleration, it carried a 2 air rafts and 2 attack speeders for the marines. It had light armor, no screens and no meson spinal mount. It is somewhat under powered and as a result had average agility. There was a powerful model 7 fib computer.

A well armed vessel, the ship mounted:
2 heavy missile bays,
10 triple sand caster turrets,
5 dual fusion gun turrets, and
5 triple laser turrets.

The ship is described as TL-13, 5G, J-4, 85 crew with 42 marines

A medium capital ship. Lots of missiles for bombing things, and some marines to search the bodies for loose change afterwards.


23 Type 056 Jiangdao Class Corvettes, 1,500 tons, 90 m long
Background: Built for the Sindalian Empire, the Jiangdao Class Corvette was partially streamlined with scoops and purification for gas giant refueling. Equipped for jump 4 and 4 G's acceleration, it carried a 2 air rafts and 2 attack speeders for the marines. It had light armor, no screens and no meson spinal mount. It is somewhat under powered and as a result had average agility. There was a powerful model 7 fib computer.
A well armed vessel, the ship mounted:
1 heavy missile bay,
2 triple sand caster turrets,
2 dual fusion gun turrets, and
1 triple laser turret.

The ship is described as TL-13, 4G, J-4, 72 crew with 42 marines

A light capital ship. Again, the Sindalian focus on big missiles as warship primary weapons. 42 x Marines, 2 x military Air/Rafts and 2 x Attack speeders seems a standard organic marine complement. I guess smaller ship lets you be in more places at once but this is really just a Xiamen that's shrunk in the wash; it's hard to come up with any advantage of the design over it's larger cousin. Note that this is a total of 168 true warships - the Sindallian Star Guard was pretty well armed!


Escorts and Patrol Vessels:
94 Project 122bis Kronshtadt Class Pursuit Ships, 325 tons, 53 m long
Built for the Sindalian Empire, the Project 122bis Kronshtadt Class Pursuit Ship was streamlined with scoops for ocean refueling. Designed by a foreign power and license built, it was intended to chase down civilian ships. It carried eleven crew with jump 3 and 6 G's acceleration, and 6 agility. It had light hull armor but only a model 5 fib computer.

The ship mounted:
two triple missile turrets and
a triple pulse laser turret for defense

The ship is described as TL-13, 6G, J-3, 11 crew with 2 marines

Even faster than the Houbei and armoured, it's again very much a police cutter and something the PCs could very well find themselves being shot at by. The name is obviously non-Asian-themed, which ties up with the 'foreign built' comment - Baltic names tend to be Sword Worlder in origin, don't they?

109 Type 022 Houbei Class Missile Boats, 220 tons, 43 m long
Built for the Sindalian Empire, the Houbei class Missile Boat was streamlined with scoops and purification for ocean refueling. It carried six crew with jump 4 and 5 G's acceleration, but only 2 agility. It had no defense except a powerful model 7 computer.

The ship mounted two triple missile turrets


The ship is described as TL-13, 5G, J-4, 6 crew

The fact that this is 220 dTons not 200 dTons is an artefact of the older rules. Aside from that it's basically Sindal's version of a Serpent-class police cutter, trading a point of armour and a point of thrust for jump capability

17 Type 054A Huangpu Class Gunboats, 50 tons, 25 m long
Built for the Sindalian Empire, the Huangpu Class Gunboat was streamlined cone structured hull with scoops for ocean refueling. It carried a single pilot with 6 G's acceleration, and 6 agility. It had thick armor to survive ground attacks and hits during space battles. The bridge was fitted with a model 2 computer. A few of these ships were used to defend key systems and were stationed near star ports and military bases. This craft was also called in to provide close fire support for marines

The ship mounted a powerful fusion gun mount.

The ship is described a single-man, TL-13, 6G small craft

Little more than a heavy fighter. A 50dton 'rough field' (ocean-fuelled) ship with a heavy energy mount provides (if you have a few squadrons of them squirreled away) the same sort of 'hard to pin down' threat as SDBs. This sort of thing surely is still lying around somewhere; 50 dTon TL13 ships must be well within the means of some current worlds in the Trojan reach to build. Odd that they build so few of such a small ship - although I guess since Sindal enforced the law with orbital gunfire a lot they didn't want the proles getting an effective SDB fleet

Assault Vessels:
3 Type 071 Yuzhao Class Assault Cruisers, 20,000 tons, 210 m long
Built for the Sindalian Empire, the Yuzhao Class Assault Cruiser was partially streamlined with scoops and purification for gas giant refueling. Equipped for jump 4 and 4 G's acceleration, it carried twenty 50 ton drop boats for the 1,100 marines. It had light armor and no meson spinal mount. It carried screens but was somewhat under powered and as a result had average agility. There was a powerful model 7 fib computer.

A well armed vessel, the ship mounted:
14 heavy missile bays,
1 repulsor bay,
1 particle accelerator bay,
10 triple sand caster turrets,
10 dual fusion gun turrets, and
10 triple laser turret.

The ship is described as TL-13, 4G, J-4, 1284 crew with 1100 marines

This is almost a baby carrier. With 4G, Jump-4 and the ability to refuel 'in the wild', a Yuzhao is an incredible mobile base - trade the drop boats (if it still has them) for a mix of fighters and boarding craft for impressive long-reach punch without risking the mothership itself, and a ship which could deploy a full regiment combat-ready must be able to hold a lot of booty.... 14 torpedo bays is a terrifying amount of firepower if anyone actually manages to get into combat range of you - and it matches the Sindalian doctrine of orbital bombardment - imagine them loaded with bombardment rounds; that's 42 ortillery torpedoes per volley!

58 Type 073 Yudao Class Landing Ships, 850 tons, 69 m long
Built for the Sindalian Empire, the Yudao Class Landing Ship was streamlined with scoops and purification for ocean refueling. It carried 77 crew with jump 4 and 4 G's acceleration, and 2 agility. It had no armor but had a powerful model 7 fib computer, loaded with ECM and sophisticated sensors. Four air rafts and four attack speeders were fitted for the marine platoons

The ship mounted:
four triple missile turrets,
two triple sand caster turrets and
two triple beam laser turrets.

The ship is described as TL-13, 4G, J-4, 77 crew with 65 marines

Old assault transports are easily repurposed into tough, well armoured freighters - or raiding ships with plenty of space for cargo. Crewing an assault cruiser is probably beyond the means of most pirate groups, but a refurbished Yudao isn't beyond the realms of imagination

Support Vessels:
11 Type 058A Fedko Class Tankers, 35,900 tons, 178 m long
Built for the Sindalian Empire, the Fedko Class Fleet Tanker was streamlined cone structured hull with scoops and purification for ocean refueling. It carried 300 crew with jump 4 and 2 G's acceleration, and no agility. It had no armor but had a model 7 fib computer. This military auxiliary was some times called in to provide fire support

The ship mounted:
A powerful meson spinal mount (quite unusual for a tanker),
ten batteries of triple missile turrets,
ten batteries triple sand caster turrets,
nine dual fusion gun turrets and
seven batteries of triple beam laser turrets.

The ship is described as TL-13, 2G, J-4, 300 crew

A Fedko is a beast of a ship - it's mostly going to have to take its punishment if it's unarmoured, but even an unarmoured 35 kDton ship has (in 1e terms) 4 sections with 180 hull and structure each - sheer bulk means you can whale on it for quite some time without doing serious damage, and a spinal mount plus a fair number of offensive energy mounts means one of these things can do a fair impression of a 'proper' capital ship. A proper naval ship like the Eurisko would still kick it silly, but not much short of that

28 Type 043 Yuan Class Mine Countermeasure Ships, 500 tons, 58 m long
Built for the Sindalian Empire, the Yuan Class Mine Countermeasure Ship was streamlined with scoops and purification for ocean refueling. It carried sixteen crew with jump 4 and 1 G's acceleration, and only 1 agility. It had thick armor to survive mine attacks and a powerful model 6 computer, loaded with ECM and sophisticated sensors. Fire control allowed the lasers to engage nine small targets at the same time. Four small zero-G warbots were fitted to scout ahead of the ship during methodical mine clearing operations.

The ship mounted two triple missile turrets and
three triple beam laser turrets.

'mines' aren't really a thing in the current rules (although a long-endurance drone with weapons does the job, I guess), and the zero-g warbots would be probe drones in the current ruleset.

The ship is described as TL-13, 1G, J-4, 16 crew

232 Type 092 Qiongsha Class Fleet Auxiliary Supply Ships, 300 tons, 29 m long
Built for the Sindalian Empire, the Qiongsha Class Fleet Auxiliary Supply Ship was streamlined cone structured hull with scoops and purification for ocean refueling. It carried eight crew with jump 2 and 2 G's acceleration, and 1 agility. It had no armor but had a model 2 bis computer. This was a commercial ship re-purposed for military support duty, many were left in civilian hands after the empire fell

The ship mounted:
A triple missile turret,
a triple sand caster turret and
a triple beam laser turret.

The ship is described as TL-13, 2G, J-2, 8 crew

2G/J-2 and 300 dTons is not far off most trader hulls (albeit three triple turrets is a lot more teeth than most people expect to see!). If nothing else, throwing in the odd Qiongsha as a contact might be interesting.
How about some price ideas/suggestions for the below 3,000 ton 1's in case after Adventure 10 Drinax has The Imperium build them some?. Please and thank you
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Baldo » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:16 pm

locarno24 wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 pm
So basically the writer was trying to turn Sindal into the Peoples Republic Of China In Spaaaaaaaace.
This nicely explains why the Sindalian Empire was ruled by autocratic "(Star) Dragon Emperors", although with some Scandinavian influences ("Kronshtadt Class Pursuit Ship" and, obviously, Sindal). Even the Drinaxi coat of arms on the covers is a mix of styles: the Red Dragon (book 1, p. 241) was the symbol of the Ming Dynasty emperors, the blue falcon(s) (p. 240) maybe come from Iceland.

However, PRC does exist in the Trojan Reach (see The Treasure of Sindal). :mrgreen:
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby NOLATrav » Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:25 pm

Repulsor bays were indeed anti-missile weaponry. They disrupted missile navigation and flight patterns with "large focused anti-grav projectors" leading to reduced numbers of hits.

I guess the Gravimetric Distorter is a nod to this?... although the Distorter is a turret weapon and Repulsors were 50 and 100 dton bay weapons.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby locarno24 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:00 am

Baldo wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:16 pm
locarno24 wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:39 pm
So basically the writer was trying to turn Sindal into the Peoples Republic Of China In Spaaaaaaaace.
This nicely explains why the Sindalian Empire was ruled by autocratic "(Star) Dragon Emperors", although with some Scandinavian influences ("Kronshtadt Class Pursuit Ship" and, obviously, Sindal). Even the Drinaxi coat of arms on the covers is a mix of styles: the Red Dragon (book 1, p. 241) was the symbol of the Ming Dynasty emperors, the blue falcon(s) (p. 240) maybe come from Iceland.

However, PRC does exist in the Trojan Reach (see The Treasure of Sindal). :mrgreen:
Again, the Kronstadt is specifically noted as an export design bought by the Sindallian star guard. Although a noticeable Icelandic heritage population mixed equally with a Chinese base could produce an interesting ethnic mix for the 'clearly foreign but not from anywhere in particular' which sandal (and later drinax) is going for. Certainly the hawk is a big motif for Drinax.

Oleb - as totally-not-Brian-Blessed-honest - looks better with a largely Viking heritage, but the combination of the two broad genomes would give a classic Sindallian bloodline...what? Sort of an Inuit-looking phenotype, I guess?

NOLATrav wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:25 pm
Repulsor bays were indeed anti-missile weaponry. They disrupted missile navigation and flight patterns with "large focused anti-grav projectors" leading to reduced numbers of hits.

I guess the Gravimetric Distorter is a nod to this?... although the Distorter is a turret weapon and Repulsors were 50 and 100 dton bay weapons.
So it's basically extra point defences. Sindal's fleet was very focused on missile combat, wasn't it?
JMISBEST wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:07 pm
How about some price ideas/suggestions for the below 3,000 ton 1's in case after Adventure 10 Drinax has The Imperium build them some?. Please and thank you
I can produce 1e versions easily - my 2e stuff is boxed up as we've started packing for a house move.

I'm not sure about the logic; these designs are TL13 - so lower tech from Drinax's perspective (they're a TL15 state as is the Imperium) - and they're old Sindallian designs; if the Third Imperium was prepared to sell them warships, they'd get significantly more for their money buying standard Imperial designs (even if customised a bit); subsector fleets are made up of colonial cruiser squadrons littered with jump-capable TL13 warships, which - if they're prepared to sell warships at all, the Third Imperium can sell you, complete with spares, training manuals and instructors, right now.

By comparison, if you're having a ship custom built, you'd probably be better off getting a TL14-TL15 design, because Drinax is always going to need its qualitative edge to hold the Aslan clans at bay, because it's sure as hell not going to have a quantitative one.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:47 am

PRC does exist in the Trojan Reach
OK, I just got that joke. I’m a little slow over here.

The emphasis on missile combat combined with the peculiarities of Traveller ship design make it quite simple to develop missile cruisers superior to any standard designs the Empire puts out. (Of course, those designs are mostly legacies of old rules and can easily be improved for Mongoose rules). Could lead to interesting confromtations down the line. . .
Last edited by Old School on Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby locarno24 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:09 am

Jiangdao Corvette, 1e MGT version - more or less intended as a straight port-across

Hull - TL13 Standard Class E Hull - 31 Hull, 31 Structure (154 MCr)
Armour - Single Crystaliron Plate & Reflec - Armour/4, 7 vs Lasers (70 dTons, 170.8 MCr)

Jump Drive - TL13 Class R - Jump-4 (63.8 dTons, 320 MCr)
Manouvre Drive - TL13 Class R - Thrust-4 (23.3 dTons, 128 MCr)
Fusion Plant - TL13 Class R - Rating 4 (49 dTons, 128 MCr)
Refuelling - Scoops & Processors - 24 Hours Refuel (32 dTons, 2.6 MCr)
Fuel Stores - 1 Jump-4 and 4 Weeks Operation (596 dTons)

Bridge - Standard Bridge (40 dTons, 1.4 MCr)
Computer - Model/5 Computer running Jump Control/4, Fire Control/5, Manouvre/0, Library/0 (20.4 MCr)
Electronics - Double Very Advanced Electronics & Advanced Signal Processing - Sensor DM+6 (12 dTons, 16 MCr)

Vehicles - Full Hangars for 2 x 4dTon Air/Rafts and 2 x 6 dTon Attack Speeders - vehicles not included (25.9 dTons, 5.2 MCr)
Barracks Deck - Double Staterooms for 42 Marines (84 dTons, 10.5 MCr)
Crew - Double Staterooms for 72 Crew (144 dTons, 18 MCr)
Armoury - 5 Marine Armouries, 2 Crew Armouries (14 dTons, 3.5 MCr)
Cargo Space (8 dTons)

Triple Beam Laser Turret (2 dTons, 4 MCr)
3 Triple Sandcaster Turrets, 60 Sandcaster Barrels (9 dTons, 5MCr)
Fusion Gun Bay (51 dTons, 8 MCr)
High-Yield Heavy Missile (Large) Bay, 30 High-Yield Bomb-Pumped Torpedoes (176 dTons, 30.68 MCr)




Notes:
1500 dTons rounded down to 1400 rather than up to 1500
'light' armour translated as a single layer of armour
Drives reduced in size/increased in cost as a TL13 design.
100 dTon Heavy Missile Bay.
Fusion Turret replaced with Bay-mounted weapon
Computer Model/5 as Model/7 is >TL13 design.
Turrets and bays larger than most people would do it as I always read the 1e core as saying the turret/bay volume listed plus fire control, which I know most people don't.

The main observation is that I can't see any possible use for 72 crew. If it's meant to be 72 crew including 42 marines, that's more sensible - I can see (broadly) a 30-man crew (follow the High Guard guidance for capital ships with a battle-strength crew and you get a 38 man crew, follow the standard rules for a full crew and you get a 25 man crew, so 30-man is a decent compromise). If so, that frees up some 84 dTons currently attached to staterooms and allows it to pack in 5-and-a-bit more torpedo salvoes, giving it slightly more endurance in an extended fight.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby locarno24 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:22 am

Old School wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:47 am
The emphasis on missle combat combined with the peculiarities of Traveller ship design make it quite simple to develop missile cruisers superior to any standard designs the Empire puts out. Could lead to interesting confromtations down the line. . .
Indeed. The Fusion cannon is clearly indended as a "we've run out of ammo" weapon, but at the same time, you could swap it out for a second missile bay, and with the reduced crew (or the 'correct' crew if I misunderstood the wiki), you can fit in 2 x 100 dTon torpedo bays and 42 torpedoes (plus 12 in the tubes if you are prepared to carry them loaded).
Granted, a ship so armed can shoot its magazines dry in twenty-four minutes of combat (in fact, if firing from Distant range, the last salvo fires before the first impacts!), but putting 42 bomb-pumped nuclear torpedoes into the void should get anyone's attention pretty quickly, and if engaging from Distant range any enemy ship has a DM-1 or DM-2 to hit you with energy fire (depending on the weapon used)
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:49 pm

I know nothing about MgT1 ship design or combat, but in 2e I like the concept of advanced torpedoes that can attack immediately from long range, negating countermeasures and also staying out of range of standard fusion or plasma weapons.

By superior designs I was referring to the ability to miniaturize bays by using higher tech (very reasonable that TL7 designs could be made smaller at higher tech levels) and therefore packing more of them in.

At capital ship sizes, jump 4 ships dont have room to use anything close to all their hardpoints using bays. Each 50 ton missile bay that you swap out for 5 missile barbettes increases your salvo size from 12 to 25,with plenty of room left over for gunner’s staterooms and missile storage. A ship designed this way would shred a standard design in combat.

Of course, using these design concepts, no one would actually build the stock designs from the books. The advantages of increasing your salvo size by switching to barbettes is too obvious.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby locarno24 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:11 pm

Old School wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:49 pm
I know nothing about MgT1 ship design or combat, but in 2e I like the concept of advanced torpedoes that can attack immediately from long range, negating countermeasures and also staying out of range of standard fusion or plasma weapons.

By superior designs I was referring to the ability to miniaturize bays by using higher tech (very reasonable that TL7 designs could be made smaller at higher tech levels) and therefore packing more of them in.

At capital ship sizes, jump 4 ships dont have room to use anything close to all their hardpoints using bays. Each 50 ton missile bay that you swap out for 5 missile barbettes increases your salvo size from 12 to 25,with plenty of room left over for gunner’s staterooms and missile storage. A ship designed this way would shred a standard design in combat.

Of course, using these design concepts, no one would actually build the stock designs from the books. The advantages of increasing your salvo size by switching to barbettes is too obvious.
Which is fair enough.
1-shot-per-5 dTon Torpedo Barbettes existed in 1e but 5-shots-per-5-dTon Missile Barbettes are new.
I agree, though there are arguments against:

You can, in 1e, do much the same - a 50 dTon heavy missile bay (lobbing 3 torpedoes at a time) can be replaced with 10 5 dTon torpedo barbettes (lobbing 10 torpedoes at a time), which is a pretty self-explanatory advantage.

The disadvantage with the barbette mounts are:

~ They are an external component and can be damaged or destroyed by any hit to the ship, whilst damaging a bay-mounted weapon requires you to chomp through the hull score first.

~ The same firepower of barbettes requires multiple separate weapons. This means more gunners - a minor cost and mass penalty in staterooms (a barbette is effectively a 10 dTon weapon to a 55 dTon weapon for a bay) which reduces your mass advantage (but, as you note, still leaves you on top mass-wise). Far more importantly, it means multiple separate attacks which splits up your fire control capability. Fire Control/5 can give you DM+5 to hit with a large torpedo bay, but only DM+1 to hit with the same firepower of separate launchers.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby steve98052 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:02 pm

Geir wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:13 am
Hans Rancke-Madsen is better known for his stuff on the Sword Worlds, which I think is pretty much accepted canon.
Yes, he did a Sword Worlds supplement through Steve Jackson Games, with Loren Wiseman as editor, and the blessing of Marc Miller.

Loren bought my only paid writing, and Hans and I shared some ideas on some materials that neither of us developed to publication quality. If I write anything Traveller for publication, Loren gets a dedication, unless it's the thing Hans and I tinkered with, in which case he gets the dedication.
locarno24 wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:26 pm
. . .
The Kronshtadt probably is a Sword Worlder export design, then.
I don't think so. Hans was Danish, and and I'm pretty sure he knew Icelandic too. I doubt he would have given a Swordy ship a Russian name.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:56 pm

Got "Ihatei!" started today. The players are stealthed in orbit above Kteiroa Downport and have gotten a look at the hundred or so Ihatei ships on the ground. They started kicking around some ideas of how to handle this situation and one idea that came up was to bring the Treasure Ship from its hiding place in hex 2222 into the outer system of Kteiroa, speed it up to near relativistic speeds and fly it into the camp like a meteor. I'll have to do the math on that one but I have to admit that I laughed out loud when they came up with it. If that's not a good way to destroy the evidence from their heist, I don't know what is. :lol:

They're intending to go planetside and investigate things more, which hopefully deters them from bringing down death from above on the Aslan. I think "Ihatei!" has some good roleplaying possibilities and I should hope that they experience them before "nuking" the camp.
"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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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:03 am

Do starships have a little black box that survives the crash like airliners do? :D And here you are giving me grief about keeping nukes as a deterrent.

One of the challenges of the Campaign is keeping track of the various Aslan clans, especially with their impossible names.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:34 am

The Treasure Ship meteor was their idea. Not mine. I’m merely their peace-loving referee. :D

I created an Aslan clan map to try to make some sense of the region. I’ll post it for feedback soon. I tried to combine the info from travellermap with the published info in Pirates Book 2.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby locarno24 » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:35 am

Old School wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:03 am
Do starships have a little black box that survives the crash like airliners do? :D And here you are giving me grief about keeping nukes as a deterrent.

One of the challenges of the Campaign is keeping track of the various Aslan clans, especially with their impossible names.
Probably. Although "survive the crash" doesn't necessarily allow for an integer-percentage-of-c impact with a planet.

Of course, it (a) is a treasure ship, so even if the outer hull is shattered, vaporised or even plasma-ised by the impact, there's an annoying possibility that the vault component wont be.

Plus, there's the chance that the Aslan will spot it on the way in. Which doesn't make the plan unworkable, but they may have to fend off one or two aslan ships which get off the ground before it impacts to stop them deflecting it.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Condottiere » Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:00 pm

Forensics will look at surviving sensor data, whether ground or satellite, or further afield.

And then send the dogs to sniff backwards the trajectory.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Tue Nov 20, 2018 1:36 am

Long post alert! The intrepid crew of the Ghost of Sindal (my players' name for their Harrier) begins the third adventure in the "Pirates of Drinax" campaign: "Ihatei!"


Ihatei: Episode 1. Imperial date 159-1107.
After arriving on Tyokh aboard their two ships, the Ghost of Sindal and the Wellspring (a salvage hauler that was once dubbed the Mercifuge, stolen from Ferrik Redthane in "Honor Among Thieves"), the crew was reserved about delving into the downport metropolis. Perhaps past experiences had made them reticent about new environments. With age comes wisdom. Upon their descent to the starport, Jim (the psion) had noticed a gravitic commercial building cluster upon which perched a tower marked with the logo of SuSAG, a human megacorporation with a presence on the planet. Jim put in a call to SuSAG, invoking the name of an old contact, Dervyn Clinch. While Clinch's operations were far away, on Tobia, using Clinch's name resulted in Jim getting a return call from one Evra Edoin, a high-level administrator at the company. Jim notified Edoin that the Ghost and its cohort, the Wellspring, had copious amounts of dustspice to trade. (Obtained from the Martin II in "Treasure Ship.")

Edoin put feelers out for the Ghost crew which resulted in a seemingly random connection. The next day, an Aslan female named Yosafya contacted the crew and asked that they send a representative to a specific address in the undercity. Jim and Arlaihehlea (the crew's new Aslan sensor op whom they had nicknamed "Leah") took the bait with some trepidation. After all it wasn't so long ago that a trip to an urban underworld on another planet (Theev) resulted in the death of a crew member. They exercised caution.

Enroute to the mysterious address, Leah and Jim witnessed dozens of ships approaching Tyokh Down in formation. Leah identified the ships' markings as those of the Htyowao clan from Keiah. Most of the ships were Ihateisho-class scouts, but some were of other classes, the largest of which was an Ekawisykua-class escort, a fairly powerful 800-ton ship.

The address turned out to be that of a travel goods shop that was run by an aging Aslan male. The male allowed them to proceed to the back of the store which led to a stairwell into the bowels of the building. Upon descending the stairs, the two found themselves in an Aslan night club of sorts, complete with harems of females, loud music, and an elaborate bar serving various concoctions to the almost entirely male crowd. Above the club was a private lounge enclosed in a translucent high-tech (presumably bulletproof) material. Jim and Leah were beckoned to visit the private lounge by an armed bodyguard.

Halfway up the stairs, the bodyguard indicated that only males were permitted into the room, so Leah would have to wait outside. In private, Leah consulted Jim briefly, urging him to keep the conversation to "executive" issues and not to discuss technicalities and numbers lest the males inside should dismiss him as a "female." Once in the room, Jim encountered more bodyguards, these outfitted in combat armor and equipped with deadlier weapons, several small groupings of males at tables in the room, and in the center a small cabal of powerful-looking males sat in an inset circular couch around a low table. The lead male among the group identified himself by a long Trokh name and asked that Jim refer to him simply as "The Alley Cat," the purported leader of the Aslan crime organization known as the Rea’a Hrillkhir. After brief introductions, the Alley Cat negotiated a deal with Jim for the group's dustspice. The particulars would be settled later by the Alley Cat's accountant, but the parameters of the deal were all 120 tons of dustspice (65 in the hold of the Wellspring and another 55 to be picked up by a Rea’a Hrillkhir freighter that would be sent to Drinax) for forged Hierate trading licenses, an agreement to fence all stolen goods at Hierate ports at a 20% rate, a full suit of Aslan combat armor (with add-ons) for Leah, and Cr100,000. The Aslan must have their dustspice after all!

Achieving a satisfactory deal for the dustspice, therefore clearing much needed space in the Wellspring's cargo hold, the Ghost crew purchased 51 tons of speculative cargo from various sources to be sold elsewhere in the Hierate and Void, and prepared for its eventual departure. Elis, who had left the ship for personal business after they arrived, returned after a two-day absence. Jim also took a short and private absence, coming back with an altered physiognamy thanks to the wonders of cosmetic surgery. Curious about the flotilla of Htyowao ships, the group contacted the Alley Cat's accountant once again, seeking more information. For a tidy sum of Cr40,000, the purser set up a meeting with an Aslan female by the name of Takhweirl, a high-level corporate functionary from the Keiahan Company Whose Profits Rise Like Mist. Elis (captain and ace starpilot) and Ash (ex-marine war hero) attended the meeting at a posh hotel in an Aslan enclave.

While eating a delicious and very likely protein-heavy meal, Takhweirl enlightened them to the fact that her clan, the Hkaairheir, had shared the world of Keiah for centuries with the Htyowao. Their joint efforts to kusyuform (terraform) the planet resulted in the development of millions of new hectares of land for the Aslan to occupy. Unfortunately, their rate of reproduction outpaced the land development and conflict between the two clans eventually came to a head. Instead of wrecking their homeworld, the two sides opted to fight a "strictly limited war" in the nearby Akoaft system. Akoaft is a barren system (replete with toxic air, poisonous plant life, and numerous insidious fungal species) that the Aslan have reserved for such conflicts. The loser of the war would have to leave Keiah. Takhweirl said that the Htyowao recently lost the edge in the war and that their defeat is imminent. While the Htyowao have not lost yet and are therefore not required to leave Keiah, it could be that some members of the clan are preemptively striking out for new territories.

As Takhweirl got a sense of what Elis and Ash did for a living and what type of ships they had, she offered them a business proposal: Smuggle 30 tons of terraforming biochemicals to a human agent from Albe who would meet them in the Homestead system, after which she would grant them a perpetual freight contract from Keiah to Vorito. The contract was for the transport of 1,000 tons of freight per month at a rate of Cr2,200/month which Elis and Ash negotiated up to Cr3,200/month, resulting in revenue of MCr3.2/month provided the goods keep flowing. Elis and Ash haggled for 10 more tons of the biochemicals, which they intended to turn over to the Scholar's Tower on Drinax so that they might be used to help terraform Drinax's blasted surface. The crew was excited about the possibility of the lucrative contract and its ability to fund the construction and maintenance of new patrol corvettes for the renascent Kingdom of Drinax. Takhweirl insisted that the Ghost crew accept four Aslan guards who would embed themselves with the freight, protecting it for the entire voyage to Homestead. Elis and Ash accepted the deal provided they would be given a window of 24 weeks to make the delivery.

The discussion of taking the contract resulted in an at-times heated debate over the group's priorities. The group currently has no shortage of competing priorities including winning over worlds to Drinax's side, rescuing Dr. Jayne Bledsoe (an NPC friend of theirs who was abducted by Glorious Empire slavers), getting to Theev for a variety of business, Sioux's (the engineer) worldbuilding projects, etc.

After closing the deal, Takhweirl sent the crew a case of high-quality (and highly intoxicating) dustspice liqueur to thank them for taking the contract. Also on that day, the crew received all deliveries of speculative cargos that they purchased, and then prepped the ships for takeoff.

It turned out to be an eventful departure. The Ghost and Wellspring were leaving the planet just as dozens of Hytowao Ihatei ships were also leaving. Shortly after exiting Tyokh's atmosphere, Ash noticed an unexpected anomaly among the Ihatei ships: there was a Gazelle-class close escort among them which turned out to be none other than the Arshad, their erstwhile nemesis from the Martin II heist. Now commanded by Commander Mari Jagad, the Arshad demanded that the Ghost stand down for inspection. Jagad claimed to have an extraterritorial warrant, granting her the right to pursue them into Hierate space. Rebuffed by Captain Elis, Jagad resisted the temptation to fire on the Ghost and Wellspring after the crew flew their ships among the Ihatei. Despite the highly unlikely event that Arshad would somehow mistakenly hit an Ihatei ship, any miss that was fired at the Ghost could be misconstrued as a missed shot at the Ihatei. A few Ihatei captains gruffly hailed the Ghost crew wondering what they were up to, but a clever ruse by Elis convinced the Aslan that the Imperium was trying to prevent them from delivering goods to the Htyowao Ihatei. The fact that Elis spoke to them in Trokh probably helped seal the deal. And beside that, few Aslan would scoff at the chance to thumb their noses at an Imperial warship, so they let the two Drinaxi ships fly among them. The Wellspring had difficulty keeping up with the faster Ihatei ships, but Sioux and Tubbs (NPC engineer) managed to eke out a little more performance from its maneuver drives which enabled them to make it to the 100-diameter limit under Ihatei "escort."

Their confrontation with Jagad and the Arshad would have to wait for another day, though the Ghost crew has pledged that next time, they did not intend to exercise "catch and release" with Jagad. The Drinaxi ships jumped out of Tyokh system, bound for Kteiroa.

Upon arrival in Kteiroa system, the crew discovered a great deal of traffic, both inbound and outbound, in this allegedly barren system. Flying the stealthy Ghost of Sindal in for closer inspection, they discovered a small spaceport and a massive cluster of landed Ihatei vessels on the planet's surface. A mere two parsecs from Drinax, thousands of hungry Aslan were gathering for an invasion of some hapless world. The crew began to plot what they would do about it.
"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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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Old School » Tue Nov 20, 2018 5:44 pm

paltrysum wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:56 pm
bring the Treasure Ship from its hiding place in hex 2222 into the outer system of Kteiroa, speed it up to near relativistic speeds and fly it into the camp like a meteor.
But if they are going that fast, won’t they experience the passage of time much more slowly than the Ihatei on the surface? They might get there only to learn that 9 months have passed for everyone else, and the Ihatei are already on Drinax. That would be a fitting reward for that scheme. :)
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby MonkeyX » Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:22 am

Some great detail that make my players meeting with the alley cat feel lacklustre. I’m also goi g to have to play up the Imperium presence a little more to.
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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby paltrysum » Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:00 am

The Alley Cat scene was fun. I have to admit, I sort of had an Aslan version of one of those bars in a John Wick movie in mind when we played out that scene.

I was really glad the players didn't massacre the crew of the Martin II during "Treasure Ship." Jagad was one of my favorite characters to play, and I'm enjoying using her as a nemesis for the group. As "Treasure Ship" points out: "Imagine [Jagad] as the slightly Mary-Sueish protagonist of a series of military-sci-fi novels. She is the heroine of an adventure that is happening parallel to the adventures of the pirates." That's exactly what I'm doing with her!

I probably wouldn't have made her pursue the players quite so far if not for the fact that their standing in the Imperium had dropped to -26 at one point. At that level, let's just say they were on the Imperium's radar. :)

The players are quite confident that the Ghost will win in a duel with the Arshad, but I'm not so sure. The Arshad has been fitted with Improved sensors, so it has a better chance of finding the Ghost during combat now. I'm hoping the players manage to get a hold of another ship to enhance their firepower before any big space duel comes to pass.
"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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Re: Pirates of Drinax - GMs thread

Postby Bardicheart » Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:25 am

Enjoyable just reading what's going on in the campaigns. Only thing missing is a postcard with "Wish you were here" written on it (cause I wish I was! :wink: )
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